One of the things you may not know about farm folks is that
we go to church.
Heck, half the time our ancestors founded churches!
As in, if you drive to my little corner of Iowa, you'll find a massive maple tree randomly left standing in the middle of a field. It's where the Lutherans who settled in that county first met for church a hundred-plus years ago.
Farmers since then could have cut that old tree down, but they leave it as a reminder of the men and women who came before them, their fervent faith in God and His mercy, and the reality that they built churches before they built stores or schools because what happened within the walls of those buildings mattered to them.
Or consider that, a couple of years ago when my farmer and I stood on the steps of the Supreme Court, waiting for the justices to announce their decision on the Hobby Lobby case, we stood next to another farmer. He was in town to testify on a Congressional committee and had made his way to the Supreme Court because he believed strongly in religious liberty and his ability to live and worship as he saw fit.
So, lest you wonder, yes, we're farmers. And we go to church.
We're Christians, and more specifically, we're members of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.
We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We believe there's nothing we can do to earn our salvation, that it's all been accomplished by Christ on the cross.
We believe we're sinners and that our Heavenly Father forgives all our gunk and junk on account of Christ. We believe that the Bible is God's Word, not just that it contains it. And we believe that we live in and by His grace alone.
We believe, as one of my former pastors wrote, "Jesus will not be pushed far away. He becomes one of us to be most near us in every part of our lives. He is like us, and therefore, knows us. Although God is no sinner, He takes our sins on Himself and dies for them on a cross. In that moment, God is the most sinful of us all."
"God dies in our flesh, His flesh. He comes in our flesh to save those who have flesh, those who suffer from their flesh and those who sin in their flesh. He does this because of His compassion for those who are like Him. God is a great lover of sinners. That's Jesus."
And we believe that makes all the difference.
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