I've been reading Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber, an ELCA pastor in Denver, CO.
Nadia is an awesome pastor, and person of faith who has taken the long journey away and back to Jesus. I love how her story takes us, who have grown up in the church and never strayed, behind the scenes to how the people God loves live in our world. She takes us into a Wiccan ceremony, "drug house", AA meetings and into the mind of someone who looked at Christianity and said "yuck!"
This is indeed where Jesus invites us to go too. Into the lives of people who are different from us, and yet so much loved by our God. So many of us are afraid. I'll admit it, I'm afraid of being in places I've never been before and talking with people who are different from me. While I have had a lot of experiences typical Iowans don't have, like living in Africa and being in an interracial relationship, there are many places of socio-economic difference that I have not experienced. Nadia's book is a personal challenge to me to be a pastor after Jesus' own example - eating and drinking with sinners, to bring healing and new life. God help us all to follow Him!
As we prepare to celebrate All Saint's Day this weekend and remember the whole company of those people who have left us to enter God's heavenly realm, lets not sugar-coat their lives. They were all saints, and all sinners - just like us. All were beautiful children of God, with brokenness as well. If we were not broken, we would not need Jesus to save us, heal us, make us whole. Praise Jesus, the Great Physician, who heals all of us, taking sinners and making saints.
For another great blog about Nadia's work read the Biker Bishop here