Good Friday morning ...
I have read that Sunday mornings are pretty busy in Seattle ... but most of the activity is NOT at church. That's because the state of Washington leads the nation in a soul- shaking statistic: it contains the highest percentage of people who say they have no religion.
Who needs Sunday School ... when you can be breathing in the life lessons of the good earth by climbing, conoeing, hiking, biking or skiing? Families just sleep in on Sunday mornings ... until the weather tells them which gear to pull out of the closet ... skis, snowboard, backpack, bike, skates, or golf clubs. Church is not even in the picture!
Only 42% of the population of Washington say someone in their household is affiliated with a church, synagogue or mosque. Twenty-five percent claim no religion at all or call themselves atheist, agnostic or secular. And yet many of these same people describe themselves as "spiritual." By that many of them mean that they "commune" with nature, appreciating the beauty of their world ... the trees, mountains, lakes, rivers and all they provide. For many ... that's quite enough! Nothing formal. Just "in touch" with their surroundings, soaking up and responding to nature.
These spiritual-but-not religious people are really nice people. Many are professionals, though not all. Many are well educated, though not all. Many were brought up in a religious setting, though not all. Most get a lot of satisfaction from "being connected" to their neighborhoods, their surroundings, their environment. They are probably self-absorbed and self-oriented ... but you cannot say they are any less moral or less caring or less anything than anyone else. They value peace and love ... its just not connected to a "higher power." For the most part, they feel content and happy and most don't think they are missing anything.
I think they are!
Why? Because ... "What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?"
We (that is a collective all of us) are so easily absorbed in the physical things of life ... so prone to be indifferent to things of a spiritual nature. We are so apt to major in the temporal ... so quick to ignore the eternal.
This is not just a problem within the state of Washington. It is a universal concern wherever you find sinful man ... anywhere, everywhere on this planet.
And I believe this is the key to much of the exhaustion and frustration we experience in life today. We battle to keep the body in shape ... but let the soul go to pot ... then wonder why we are so tired! The body becomes saturated with attention ... while the soul is dried up in neglect. We put so much emphasis on that which is destined to rot ... and abandon that which is meant to live forever.
What kind of fools are we anyway? Only the regular, human, sinful kind.
The truth is we were ALL made for fellowship with God. Life begins at conception ... but real life begins with Christ! "Now this is eternal life ... that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent" [John 17:3].
Now you know where I stand. Do you stand with me?
On this Friday morning as you look toward the weekend ... remember Sunday is coming ... and so is eternity.
Grace Lutheran Church - LCMS
12200 McCormick Rd
Jacksonville, Florida 32225
Jacksonville, Florida 32225