Nate Hileman serves as a wilderness guide at Camp Fowler.
When I went to church when I was little, I had a mental image of a “Good Christian” in my head the whole time. The “Good Christian” was a pretty cool dude. He had five kids, and two used cars, and he wore snazzy shirts, and he tithed, and he read his Bible, and never got angry, and prayed every night, and things were never hard for him. Unfortunately, I never felt like that guy. I thought I was supposed to be like that “Good Christian” when I grew up. I carried a picture of him in my head for years. To be fair, that guy has a pretty sweet life, and I’d be lucky to end up like him. But when it comes down to it, I’m not that guy. No one is that guy, because no one is perfect.
As I was growing up, one of the most discouraging things about my faith was the idea that I had to be this perfect, snazzy, “Good Christian.”
But as we read in this passage: “For by grace you have been saved through faith”…
…if you ask me, the most important word in that sentence is “you.”
God Incarnate did not enter this world to make sure that the “Good Christian” was doing well. Jesus did not come here for the perfect people. Jesus came here for you. You don’t have to be perfect. That’s the beauty of the thing. You just have to be you. No one’s perfect, but that’s okay. We’ve already been saved.
(In an effort to be inclusive, if you do happen to run across a perfect person, you should invite that person to your church’s next ice cream social. It’s polite.)
So, give yourself a break. You don’t have to impress Jesus. He’s already taken care of everything. What a gift! By his grace, you have been saved through faith.
You have been saved.
Prayer: Dear God, thanks for loving me even though I don’t have it all together. It means a lot to me. I’ll try my best to be the “Good Christian.” I probably will fall short, but I’ll do my best. Thanks for having my back. I love you, God. Amen.
The 2015 Lenten reflections were submitted by staff, volunteers, board members, campers, and friends who have spent time at Camp Fowler in New York.
For this year’s Lent devotions, the days follow the Common Lectionary texts. Each author was invited to: 1.Read the passage.
2.Read a couple passages before and after the assigned day.
3.Do something else for the day, keeping the passage in mind.
4.Find a word/phrase/concept that connects with your own experience. Reflect on that.
You are encouraged to do the same.