St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

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why christ mattersThis may seem like a strange title for a pastor’s front-page newsletter article. Of course Christ matters! You are reading a church newsletter after all! But many are wondering these days, “does Christ matter?” Christmas has ended. The decorations have come down. Our anger about whether or not

people said “Merry Christmas” has tempered. Now that the one time of year when something Christian

actually dominates our way of life (albeit in a very consumerist and not very Christ-like way), we look around and we may wonder, “does Christ still matter?”


This is not a silly question. More and more people are not only asking this question and answering, “no,” many are not even bothering to ask the question at all. It’s well documented that Christian faith in North America is in decline and it has been nearly decimated in many of our ancestral homes in Europe. That means there are now millions of people who wouldn’t be able to answer the question, “why does Christ matter?”


When I look around today I see people responding differently to this question. There’s a growing tide that wants to prove that Christ matters by putting certain politicians in office or enacting certain legislation. Even if the masses are not Christian, we will make them act like it through our laws! This way of proving that Christ matters is just another way to exert power over people who are different than us. It’s a way of forcing one group’s values on other groups. It’s a way of proving that Christ still matters without doing the hard work of transforming lives through the Gospel.


But Christianity isn’t about power. It isn’t about fighting against culture. It isn’t even about one specific political party’s platform. Christianity is about Christ’s transforming love.


Does Christianity matter? Yes, but maybe not in the way we expect. Because ultimately, Christianity isn’t about us. It’s not about one group having more power than others. It’s about a movement of people who put the needs of others before their own.


When we put our needs and agendas before Christ, Christ may not really matter at all. We can elect anybody who can guarantee a few legal victories. But when we put the needs of others before ourselves, that’s when we find Christ matters the most. 


My favorite verse in scripture, which I believe is one of the key verses for understanding the Christian movement, is from Galatians. Paul writes, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)


What would this world look like today if more people were willing to say that Christ (not themselves) is at the center of their lives? Christ the radical rabbi who loved everyone, no matter what.


Pastor Joe Natwick



Lutheran Social Services Monday, Dec 10 @ 4:30 PM
Scouts Monday, Dec 10 @ 7:00 PM
Quilters Tuesday, Dec 11 @ 8:30 AM
Prairie Rose Chorus Tuesday, Dec 11 @ 6:00 PM
Staff mtg Wednesday, Dec 12 @ 10:30 AM

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September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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