Rinse, Lather, Repeat…Discipleship

20150413_205916My body wash reminded me of something this morning. Every so often in the morning I want to stay in the shower. Sometimes because it is warm, but mostly because it gives men a few minutes to get my head on straight before I have to deal with the world of two young people and a teenager.  Oh my kids aren’t that bad.  They have their cranky moments and they act like all little sinners some times but I wouldn’t expect anything less. Their dad’s theme song is often chief of sinners though I be. Today I was in the shower and happened to be reading the back of my body wash.  I know I am weird but like I said I like to take a few minutes.  I was blown away as I read the bottle.  Rinse lather and repeat as necessary, it says. As a guy I have never really thought about doing it twice.  Most of the time if I have done it twice it is because I got so little sleep the night before that I forgot I did it in the first place.

When we talk about sharing our faith with our kids, families and for me Youth group, I forget that I need to rinse and repeat more often than not.  I sometimes forget the importance of this process in making disciples of Jesus.  I often think of Jesus and how he taught the same thing over and over again just so he could give them the holy spirit and then they would finally understand. We are a stubborn people in need of constant reminder.  We like the Israelites, disciples, and really everyone else in the Bible have seen God work in great and amazing ways yet we constantly have to be reminded of the things God has done in our lives.

So maybe today you are struggling with teaching your family, your youth group, your Church, your friend or yourself.  Remember we need to hear it over and over again.  Like shower time it isn’t is a one time thing.  The really tough stuff might even take multiple times in one attempt to get it clean. So lets all remember to keep bathing in God’s Word! Rinse, lather, repeat.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Do you feel God?

Do you feel God is a question many students have asked this question in their lives. Students, adults, and everyone in between struggle with this issue of feeling God. It is a tough question because often is reveals how people are doing in their faith life. When we forget about who works faith in us we start to ask the question do we feel God.

Your emotions are what make us human. We cannot follow Jesus without at least thinking about our emotions. I get very frustraited with Lutherans who say emotion has no part in the life of a Christian. Chrsitians will always have emotional responses to the world around us. We will respond in worship with some emotion. Think about the last service you went to and tell me you didn’t have some response to the music, liturgy, readings or sermon. You can’t avoid emotion but you can put it in the proper context. Emotion is a gift of God but it isn’t what saves us.

So how do I feel God. I think it is the wrong question. What people are really saying is I don’t feel God do I have faith? So here is my answer. Remember your baptism. Remember in your baptism God declared you his child. In my life I have had moments of ups and downs. I have had moments of time when I struggled in my faith and wondered if it is really there. I remember a professor I had in college who reminded us all one day that when we have those moments we should remember our baptism because it is the one thing we couldn’t mess up, it was done to us. You see in baptism we don’t have to trust in our works or how much we feel Gods presence. We receive the gifts of forgiveness of sins purely by the Grace of God connected to the word. We are saved not because we feel God’s presence but because of what Christ has done for us in that moment. Remember your baptism it will help when you are going through those moments of doubt.