Posted by Scott Foster on

Bruce Springsteen is a national treasure. Poet. Prophet. Rock star.

Regular guy.

If you saw the Broadway show, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They put it out on Netflix this week, so go check it out. No really, watch this show!

If you love Springsteen already, you’ll love him even more. And even if you don’t love him, you will get to know him. He’s as real as it gets. Raw. What you see is what you get.

We know he’s a magnificent story-teller just from the music and the band, and all those years on the road. 1 plus 1 equals 3 for the E Street Band. The whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. He gives all the credit to the band.

But without the songs? Without the stories? Without these paintings, it’s just a good band with a great front man.

It’s all about the songs. The stories. How he paints the pictures. And he says “this is my magic trick.”

He’s never worked in a factory—he wrote all those songs about screaming down the highway and “Born to Run” and he couldn’t even drive a car! He’s quippy about never working 5 days week “until now.” Until he did the Broadway show.

So, he makes up the stories but he’s very clear and honest about who he is. Rock star, yes. But a regular guy who gets lonely, has depression, father, husband—all that. This is the picture he paints in the Broadway show. It’s a live autobiography. And he’s raw, vulnerable, real. It’s about how he paints the pictures.

I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately about what we’re doing here. Like what is the point of Presbyterian Church of Madison? Sure, to see lives transformed, families strengthened, and our community renewed through intentional relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s our vision, sure.

How are we painting the picture?
What does that look like?

Well, it looks like us. You and me. Doing our best to walk the walk. Perfect in our imperfections. Love God. Love your neighbor.

All that.
Just be.

This whole “Jesus thing” was lifestyle long before it was church. Long before it became a belief system. I wonder all the time what Jesus would make of the church. Not just our church, but the whole thing. What it’s become. What would Jesus think of what the church has become? What’s the picture we’re painting?

Here’s where I’m going:

Reclaim the lifestyle.

Let’s be church—connect to the community and each other by loving God and loving each other, just like Jesus says. Just be. Take care of each other.

It’s not a magic trick.
It’s just being real.
Perfect in our imperfection.

It’s not about the picture we’re painting.
What about how we’re painting?

Merry Christmas!

Grace and peace,


The Blog takes a break for the holidays returning on January 9. Happy New Year!


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