RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE THROUGH LEARNING AND GROWING: 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
Questioning our beliefs, or having them challenged, often leads to a stronger understanding of those beliefs, in my experience. I have had two major challenges to my religious beliefs. First was in college. Geoff and I both attended a Catholic university, and my first class was taught by a priest who I was sure was 150 years old. He opened and closed each class with the Hail Mary. I was terrified. I had no idea Catholic was so different from Episcopalian (as I was raised). Was every class to be that way? What would I do? Well, I learned the Hail Mary, for one. And through questioning that practice and comparing it with my own background, I learned more about what I truly believed and grew in my faith. (For the record, it was the only class I took in 4 years that started and ended class that way.)
The second time my beliefs were challenged was two years ago, when our family was searching for a new church home. This was an unfamiliar experience for us. I regularly attended the same church my entire life, except during college and the few years we lived out of state. As we searched for a new home, we again had to challenge our beliefs. What were we looking for in a church home? What was most important to us? How did we fit with those church families? As we learned about each church we visited, we grew to know more about ourselves and our faith. It made us stronger.
A year and a half ago, by the grace of God, we found Salem. You welcomed us with open arms. And one year ago, Salem gave each of our children a Bible. No commitment from us. Just a gift to them – a tool for the formation of their own faith and knowledge of Jesus. Our 4-year-old vowed to read that Bible cover to cover. He’s more than half way through it. Growing and learning…
Dear God, Thank you for my family. Thank you for Salem’s welcoming arms. Please help us to learn from the challenges presented to us, and in so doing grow ever stronger in our faith in You. Amen.
Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.
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