What it means to be Christian
Let’s start with what Christians are NOT:
• better than other people,
• closer to God,
• superior moral examples for the world.
Over the years we’ve earned a reputation as a pretty judgmental group, and in many cases rightly so. But the reality is that Christians aren’t superior to anyone else. Christians are the people who’ve been entrusted by God with a message of hope for the world.
Christians are people who understand that in Jesus, God offers forgiveness to all people. In other words, that which we can not do for ourselves, Jesus does. Jesus came into a broken world among broken people, entering fully into that brokenness, even to the point of death. He was raised to new life and now he freely offers his gift of forgiveness to the world. This is the message God proclaims in Christianity: real hope, unconditional love, ultimate forgiveness, and new life.
More than just words, God is continually doing these things in the world. Christians are people who not only proclaim God’s hope, love, forgiveness, and life in Jesus, but also participate in these things in the world. Do we do it perfectly? Obviously not. But we are people who live the reality of forgiveness and new beginnings every day.
What it means to be Lutheran
Lutheran Church of the Master is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Learn more about the ELCA at ELCA.org.
Our regional affiliation is with the Rocky Mountain Synod. You may also want to read Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. There are a number of translations that can be found by searching the internet. For one example, click on Small Catechism.
Holy Communion at Lutheran Church of the Master
Holy Communion is celebrated at every Sunday worship service. Believing this is God’s free gift, we welcome to the table everyone who is present at worship, regardless of age or whether or not you are Lutheran or a member of our congregation.
What the Bible Means to Us
Lutherans believe that the Bible is the most important of all the ways God’s reality and presence are revealed to humanity. The Bible contains the story of God’s interaction with humankind, first through the understanding of the Jewish people (Old Testament – 39 books), and subsequently to all people through God’s self revelation in Jesus (New Testament -27 books). ELCA Lutherans confidently proclaim that God inspired the Bible’s many writers, editors and compilers. As they heard God speaking and discerned God’s activity in events around them in their own times and places, the Bible’s content took shape. Among other things, the literature they produced includes history, legal code, parables, letters of instruction, persuasion and encouragement, tales of heroism, love poetry and hymns of praise. ELCA Lutherans recognize that human testimony and writing are related to and often limited by culture, customs and world view. By no means does the human presence in sacred Scripture detract from the Bible’s testimony to God. The Bible’s reliability lies not in reading it as science or proscription, but as humankind’s chief witness to God, reflecting on faith as it is to be lived. Again, ELCA Lutherans judge all Scripture through the window of God’s chief act – that of entering human flesh in Jesus of Nazareth – and they interpret Scripture by listening to the living Jesus in the context of the Church.
Reading the Bible, God’s Word, is the most important thing. If you find it tough going, perhaps you should try out a more readable translation, such as The Message, the New Living Translation, or the Contemporary English Version. For an in-depth comparison of the many translations currently available, visit The International Bible Society. A good source for buying Bibles on-line is bibles.com.