Authentic, Available & Affirming Adults

"Triple A" characteristics of Christian disciples, note how these characteristics parallel the three articles of the Apostles' Creed: creator, redeemer, presence.

Authentic is a word that is highly valued in our day. To be authentic is to be trustworthy and transparent, to be real and reliable. Authenticity is when a person's outward actions conform to their inward disposition. Authenticity for humans is grounded in God's first being authentic with us. The creation that is our home does not play games with us; nature is reliable (and sometimes very dangerous), notice the rising of the sun and laws of gravity. God's faithfulness shines through every nook and cranny of creation. Authentic means that God is not duplicitous or two-faced. God's inner being, God's will is authentically expressed in God's creation.

Available is an attribute of persons that is often in short supply in a world that is so busy and so preoccupied with things. To be available is to value others enough to make space and time for relationships. Schedules, commitments, responsibilities all fill our days and consume our energy. Once again, all human availability is finally grounded in God's first being available for us. In Jesus Christ God says God is always and ever available to us. God is not too busy to become incarnate and to get as close to us as possible. God knows our passions and our pains because God lived those passions and pains. And God continues to be available through the eternal presence of God the Holy Spirit, the One who is always with us and never forsakes us. God is closer to us than we are to any others, and God gives us permission and challenges us to be available for others. If God is not too busy, how dare we be preoccupied?

Affirming is another word that is highly valued, but often missing in our day. To be affirming is to approach life with a basic 'yes,' to live positively and supportively. Even correction and punishment - as needed - are to be seen as ultimately affirming life and goodness. And again, all human 'affirming' is grounded in God's first affirming us. The call of Jesus' to each of us is ultimately an eternal affirmation. While human beings are often more at home with rewards and punishments, judgments and even condemnation, God's will is salvation and affirmation. And through the Holy Spirit God affirms all of life by giving each of us gifts, abilities and a vocation to serve God by serving others. It is because God has - and always is - affirming us, that we see Christian discipleship as living-out that same affirmation in our families and communities.

Because God has first been "authentic, available and affirming" for us, we are called to be those same things for others.

Faith Lutheran Church - 155 Boyson Road, Marion, IA 52302 - 319.377.9700