Yesterday we celebrated Reformation Sunday by singing “A Mighty Fortress” and quaffing beer and debating theology. Remember, it was Luther who quipped, “Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!”.
And so I kept a few folks safe from sin last night as we gathered at the local bar… (there are days I really love my work!)
The topic of the night was Reformation – specifically Reformation regarding the church. I asked what needed to be changed about the church, and what was worth preserving. What was interesting was not how hard it was to keep the group on target (it always is), nor how one of our group brought a list and a picture of the Wittenburg door, but how difficult it was to speak in generalities. We wanted to talk about OUR church – not some larger denomination or Christendom in general.
On the ride home, I answered my own questions with an eye toward the larger church. There’s much I’d keep – from our polity, to much of our music (although I’d continue to hope we’d explore new forms and styles) – I’m Presbyterian because I choose to be so. There’s much I love about my denomination.
What I would change?
- I want a church that is more passionate about its beliefs, especially in terms of justice and mission. I want a church on fire.
- I want a church where the membership is invested in more than Sunday morning worship.
- I want a church that strives to be more inclusive and realizes that this will always be an issue as long as there is a division between us and them.
- I want a church that is willing to sacrifice in order for the Good News to be spread.
- I want a church that taps the creativity of the people in worship – embracing our learning differences in ways that expand our ability to praise our God.
It’s Monday morning after Reformation Sunday. I don’t have a door to post these on, but I do have a blog and a presence in the ether of the internet. The question becomes what we do the day after, no?
It’s time to start living and acting on what we believe. And as with all change, I realize it needs to begin with me.