I am currently on a course with Alban Institute – the course is called A New Vision for the Long Pastorate. Here is the quote from today –“Tradition: the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism: The dead faith of the living.” You can be enriched by your past – tradition, or you can be enslaved in it – traditionalism.

We are staying at Our Lady of the Snows National Shrine just outside of St. Louis. It is beautiful here and this is a good use of holy space to learn in.

In this very minute I am hearing about a Law driven church vs. a Grace Driven Church. The two issues of passionate spirituality and evangelism are system wide issues.  Most of the church struggles with this and it makes it difficult. Even though justification by faith is proclaimed regularly, what we see and feel in most of the churches is driven by law.  Duty and responsibility is driving people to be in church, rather than overflowing joy and gratitude. The parable of the prodigal son is helpful here. The wasteful son is welcomed home with a great party and open arms. The other brother is full of anger and is resentful. The vast majority of the people who work and govern our churches are “the other brother- "The self made person. It is up to each one of us to make something of ourselves.” Hence we deserve recognition and reward. The older brother is upset because his father has tipped that myth upside down – it is so unfair to him. Many people in our churches approach the church that way – particularly church leadership. But we need to become churches that are all about grace and less about law.

This is good stuff – stay tuned I’ll have more to share.