Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 29, 2007
Eternal life begins in here and now, says Lutheran bishop
'Your life in the kitchen is your spiritual life,' he tells ecumenical mission
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"This is important to think about," he reflected. "We all are different. We all have different gifts. We think differently; we react differently. Give God those differences."
He urged his audience not to try to be like their neighbour or a person they wished they were like.
"Just give back to God who you are with your strengths and your weaknesses," he said.
"God wants your body, not just the flesh and blood but the whole of you - your mind, your spirit."
The word "spirit" should not limit our thinking for it is not something that we just do up in our heads, the bishop said. "It's our whole life.
"Your life in the kitchen is your spiritual life; your life in the garage is your spiritual life; your life in the car, your life at Church, your life praying, your devotional life is your spiritual life.
"Everything is your spiritual life. Your spiritual life is the life you live and how you live it is the way you express that spirituality."
So presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, which is our spiritual worship, is the thing we have to do, Sartison said. "It's the giving of your life back to God."
When Paul urges people to resist being put into moulds and calls on them to be transformed by renewing their mind he is suggesting that we have a responsibility to read, to think, to listen, to talk, to inform our intellect and to shape the way we look at life, the Lutheran bishop said.
"Are we satisfied with the statistics I read earlier (which suggest people on welfare received more 20 years ago than today)? Do we just let that sink in our mind or do we say 'Oh, that's interesting. I didn't know that.'
"Maybe there is something I should try and do then. So it suggests that we take some responsibility. Take who you are and exercise your mind with the gifts that God has given you."
We like things to be black and white but Paul sees shades of grey, especially when it comes to who should be accepted into the Church.
In Romans 11:28-29, he says the Jews, judged by their response to the Gospel are God's enemies for your sake, but judged by his choice they are dear to him for the sake of the patriarchs.
"So we as Christians sometimes want to say they won't be included and neither will the Muslims. But we don't know about that stuff," Sartison said. Part of Paul's argument is that "God is going to save the Jewish people too" despite their response to the Gospel.
The Gospel is the most important thing in the world, he said. It is the power of God for salvation to all who have faith.
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