Sunday at EGM we had a service full of people wanting to make their faith public, dedicating their lives and little ones to their God. I can't say I have it all figured out as far as profession of faith vs. baptism, I do know that I don't believe either can secure us a ticket to heaven, but I do know what I saw that day.
I saw pictures of God's story through people, a life of addiction being turned over as a the prodigal son running into the open arms of his father and it was beautiful.
Luke 15: 20-24
20 "So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."
"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
I saw families making covenants with God on behalf of their adopted children to show their children how to love God; which is what I think James writes about:
James 1:27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
It was so moving to me on Sunday to see so many snapshots of what God is doing even in the community around us. I have been thinking about "religiosity" lately, how I am surrounded by mostly believers and really challenged to think about what I do about that and how I can start to step in to doing life with others. I was so annoyed last week hearing someone I know use lots of faith talk and acronyms when asked about his life and maybe part of what bothered me is that I know that language. almost fluent in it. Am I living true religion, like James writes about, or am I too busy working out my faith that I end up like the prodigal son's older brother.
But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
And still the Father's response in the story of the prodigal son astonishes me. It is that everything he has is already the older sons to have. speechless. my only thought is that maybe I need to realize the blessings I have but not camp out there, do something to celebrate the lost being found and even engage in the rescue. So where are the action points? Is it spending time with someone who needs support? Is it awareness about international events and major struggles? Is it being open to adoption as a part of my own family at some point?
How do you battle "religiosity" and pursue true religion in your own walk?