Last week, since I was visiting my parents, my wife and I attended their church. In case you don’t know, I grew up in the American Baptist Church and started attending the Lutheran Church in college.
Usually, I can sit back and things don’t really seem to bother me. This week, that was not the case. Sunday School put me on edge. They were studying Matthew 24. That’s not bad, but I think the guy leading the class just relied on the notes in his Study Bible instead of going to a respectable commentary to figure out what the chapter was about. Study Bibles are not a bad thing, if used properly. In other words, double check the notes against a commentary or two. The commentaries will explain a whole lot more than the notes in the Study Bible.
Things didn’t improve with the Children’s Message. The whole message was about faith without works, which could have been good, but the whole message was works righteousness. You can do this… You can do that… I wanted to say, “Where’s the justification?” “Where’s the grace?”
Then we got to the sermon. I have to say, the pastor has done his homework. He has gone to the commentaries and studied the passage, but he’s so boring. There was no emotion in his sermon at all. And, to top it off, more works righteousness. Here’s where I wanted to say, “Where is God in all that, preacher?”
I needed to hear grace, I needed to hear I can’t do it by myself, I needed to hear Christ crucified for the forgiveness of sin, not “Christ’s worst day was on the cross.”