I met her at the door after worship. This young adult had come to church at the behest of a family member. If enduring the service wasn’t bad enough, now there was no clear path to the exit; she had to wait in a line of church people to greet the pastor.
I introduced myself to the young woman and noticed her piercings and tattoos. She probably thought I was judging her, but what I was thinking was, “This is just the kind of person we need to get into church to hear how much God loves her!”
She made it clear it really wasn’t her idea to be there.
I just said I was glad she was with us.
She set her face to get out the door – I’m not sure if she was more uncomfortable to be talking to a pastor or to be holding up the line of parishioners behind her.
She had one more comment. “I’m not very religious.” It came out something between an admission and a dismissal, with just a hint of challenge.
I hope my answer surprised her. “Neither am I.”
Then she was gone.
I didn’t have a chance to explain that I meant my faith is in what God has done for me – and for her – not in religion.
I didn’t get the opportunity to say that religion is about following the rules to get God to love us.
Following Jesus is knowing God already loves us and definitively demonstrated that love in the suffering and death of the cross.
I didn’t get the chance to tell her religion is about getting to God.
But Jesus came to us. God always comes to us.
Most of all, I didn’t get a chance to tell her that God just loves her. Period. Because that’s who God is.
And that there is nothing she needs to do to earn or to keep God’s love and salvation.
It’s all been done for her.
And for me.
That ain’t religion.
Love your post! You constantly remind us of the Good News! Thank you!
Thanks, Pastor Dave! Very well-said! From your old Vienna-exploring friend (1985), Daniel
Is the Unexpected Pastor blog able to be followed on Facebook?
I believe the only way to follow it is to click on the button at the top right of the page and get an e-mail notification when new posts go up. If you are my friend on Facebook, I do always link to new blog posts on my FB page, but you won’t necessarily see all of them because Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t show all friend’s posts in every feed.
Thanks for reading!
Ok thank you. I attended Christ Lutheran as a child, now my wife and I are 6 year members of Trinity Lutheran and very happy there. Funny how things work isn’t it! I enjoy your blogs.