June 2020: This world needs Grace
Personally, I am tired of pandemic, zoom calls, take-out eating, and face masks. I am tired of the news going from bad to worse. I am tired of hearing about about people hurting people, about people gasping for breath in ICUs and in the streets. I am tired of the sin we hear about constantly. I am tired of my own sin that gives into anxiety.
I am tired of this broken, messed up, hateful, diseased, ungrateful, selfish world.
I bet you are too.
This world and everyone in it is in desperate need for redemption, of purification, of the love of God that materializes in love of neighbor, every neighbor. This world needs to be forgiven, and to learn how to forgive one another. This world needs loving guidance and kingship. This world needs healing, strength, and mercy. This world needs gratitude, friendship, and renewal. This world needs to be re-born, and made holy. It needs righteousness, beauty, and truth.
This world needs Christ today, yesterday, and tomorrow. This world needs the counter-cultural attitude of self-sacrifice demonstrated perfectly on the cross at Calvary. This world needs to be reminded that it was made in love. This world needs reminded that it is loved. This world needs what it cannot give itself. This world needs only it can be given. This world needs grace...
Grace for the poor, grace for the rich, grace for every race and every nation under the sun, grace for parents, grace for sons and daughters, grace for the hurt, and grace for those who hurt, grace for friends and grace for the enemies...
Grace for you, and grace for me.
Thank God we do not believe in this world, but we instead we believe in the God of redemption, purification, love, forgiveness, guidance, kingship, re-newal, rebirth, holiness, righteousness, beauty, truth, and grace.
Read below some words from the president of the Lutheran Chruch-MissourI Synod. His feelings and thoughts are my own.
We weep for George Floyd, for his family and loved ones because he was robbed of life. We weep for our nation. We weep for those across our nation who believe their only recourse is destruction. We weep for police officers everywhere, who carry out their honorable vocations with courage and goodwill but find their task infinitely more challenging and dangerous in the wake of the sad events in Minneapolis. We pray for the safety of all and the welfare of those who have lost property and livelihood. We pray for the police who must stand against mayhem. We support the First Amendment rights of the peaceful protestors.
We deplore injustice. We deplore destruction, robbery and doing physical harm to others. That, too, is injustice. We plead to citizens and governments of this nation for communities beset by poverty, crime and injustice. We plead for rational and unifying policies that will end injustices and address social breakdown, lack of economic access, and other factors that fuel anger, hatred and dissension.
We shall pray, but we shall do even more. We shall follow the ancient mandate of the prophet of Yahweh: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
And we shall proclaim Christ, “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7–8).
My prayer for each and everyone one of us is that we each do not fall into the temptation of Cain and make our brother our enemy, but instead love our neighbors as ourselves.
Romans 5:3–5 (ESV): 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
We may be tired, but because of Christ we can endure and build character which leads to hope.
He is risen. He is ascended. By His Spirit, He lives in you.
(Car) Worship Schedule— A month of Matthew!
Holy Trinity— The Practical Doctrine of the Trinity, Matthew 28:16-20
Service: Divine Service I
Hymns: 507, 604, and 644.
Second Sunday after Pentecost— Prepare for the Harvest, Matthew 9: 35-10:8
Hymns: 727, 834, and 826.
Third Sunday after Pentecost— God before men, Matthew 10:5a, 21-33
Service: Divine Service III
Hymns: 783, 570, and 685
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost— Finding Life after All, Matthew 10:34-42
Service: Prayer and Preaching
Hymns: 425, 848, 655