Once upon a time I just showed up. I didn't think twice about it. In fact, if I did think twice it meant I probably wouldn't show up at all. And it wouldn't bother me a bit. Too hungover? Sleep in. Feel too guilty over the sins of Saturday night to show up Sunday morning? No problem, there's always next week.
But then that all changed. One Sunday while in college, God's Word spoke to me like it never had before. I knew at that moment I couldn't turn back. I began to devour the Word. I would spend hours in Barnes & Noble flipping through every book on the shelf in the Christianity section. I started to listen to different preachers on the radio. Like a sponge, I absorbed everything I could read, see, or hear about how to live like Christ. I could no longer just show up.
I look around some Sunday mornings now and wonder if anybody feels the same as I did, or feels the same as I do now. When I reach out to another and they tell me they attend such-and-so church, I wonder if they are just showing up, or if they have a fire burning inside of them like I feel.
But I wish I didn't feel this way. I wish I could just show up. I wish I didn't care. Because the more I read the more I wrestle, and the more I wrestle the more I question. So I read more. And more. And more. I wish I could just show up, nod my head at whatever preacher-man has to say and close my Bible as I close the door of the church behind me.
As they say, you can't un-ring the bell. I wish I didn't care. I wish church was just religion and God was just an idea. Instead I now wrestle over theology that is way over my head. I wrestle over the tension between Gospel and Kingdom; between Paul and Jesus. I wrestle with the New Perspective of Paul and am curious about the Federal Vision. I am fascinated by the subject of soteriology. And yes, all of these are related.
That's this week.
That's why I blog. That's why I read other blogs. That's what keeps my faith fresh and keeps me ever-striving to learn what it means and how to be Christlike. If you're a regular reader here, I expect you feel the same way. If you're another writer, blogger, theo-thinker, I appreciate your unique perspectives and reflections. I thank both of you. We are growing together. Prayerfully, we are doing this as Paul described:
"... being built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:12-15)