alien righteousness

“We simply need ordinary pastors to deliver the word of life and its sacraments faithfully, elders to guide us to maturity, and deacons to help keep the temporal gifts circulating in the body”

We don’t need another hero. We need a Savior, one who possessed “no form or majesty that we should look at him,” and yet bore our sins (Isa 53:2-3). In fact, we need to be saved from our own hero worship, whether of ourselves or others. Jesus Christ never disappoints us because he is not simply someone to look up to because of his achievements, but is someone to trust because everything that he achieved was for us. And we need a communion of saints he has chosen and redeemed with us and for us. We need ordinary believers of every generation, race, and socioecomic background to whom we’re united by baptism to one Lord and one faith by one Spirit. We simply need ordinary pastors to deliver the word of life and its sacraments faithfully, elders to guide us to maturity, and deacons to help keep the temporal gifts circulating in the body.

The actual churches we know are often the most difficult places in the world, especially if we are creative, ambitious, and drawn toward novelty. The patient discipline of belonging to a community (preferably, the same local community) over a long period is difficult for those of us born after 1964. Church growth analysts often tell us that “brand loyalty” is a thing of the past and that churches will just have to catch up with that fact, jut as they told us tht niche churches grow faster becuase people like to worship with those who are like (ethnically, generationally, and socioeconically). We have Corinth written all over us.

The church in the abstract may be fine–the invisible company of God’s elect. As the saying goes, “To dwell above with the saints in love–Oh, that will be glory! But to dwell below with the saints, I know, well, that’s a different story.” We see ourselves as “on the move,” making an impact–and we need others like us to be props or supporting actors in our movie. Contentment comes from knowing that the body of Christ is far greater than any of its members by itself…

With that realization, what seemed like boring routine with boring people may actually take on a different aspect. Like a vast field, we are growing together into a harvest whose glory will only appear appear fully at the end of the age. (166-167)

Taken from “Ordinary” by Mike Horton.

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