Mary Ann Anderson writes –
Each time you travel the causeway to get to Lutheran Island Camp you are traveling a small piece of property that I have family connections to. My father, along with many other men from the surrounding LCMS churches, many years ago hauled native rock from their farms and eventually had enough to build a road on top. My father farmed five miles east of Henning. Others drove that far and probably farther. Dad drove a Ford tractor and in road year it would top out at 35 miles an hour. I’m not sure what the weight of his load would have been on the flatbed created when the top part of the hayrack was removed, but I’m sure he really made that tractor hum. Each time I go back to Lutheran Island Camp I have something tangible that reminds me of the love my father had for His Lord and for the generations to come. My grandmother, his mother, would always say, “Bloom where you are planted.” and I believe this was an example of that statement.
I crossed that road several times this weekend when I spoke at the retreat for the Minnesota North LWML and as they used to in my home town newspaper, ” a good time was had by all”. At least I had a good time. Pastor Staudy did a marvelous study based on 1 Corinthians 13 that led to many great discussions. Of course the staff led by Ken Erlandson is always top drawer and very helpful.
Building that road many years ago so that folks could get out to the camp is certainly a metaphor for witness and mercy. We try and build bridges so that people can come to Christ, or we can get to them and proclaim Jesus. Works of love manifest faith in Christ and show his mercy to all. This bridgebuilding we do is empowered by the Holy Spirit and it takes place wherever the Word of God is rightly taught and proclaimed. Faith active in love is an organic reality wherever Christ’s word is proclaimed. But what if we don’t see that reality? The theology of the cross explains some of the reason but ….. I think there is more. Where love is lacking and all is rules and regulations and bylaws, we have a real problem as members of the body and members of one another. Luther in his sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 explains it …………..
It is passing strange that teachers devoid of love should possess such gifts as Paul has mentioned here, viz., speaking with tongues, prophesying, understanding mysteries; that they should have faith, should bestow their goods and suffer themselves to be burned. For we have seen what abominations ensue where love is lacking; such individuals are proud, envious, puffed up, impatient, unstable, false, venomous, suspicious, malicious, disdainful, bitter, disinclined to service, distrustful, selfish, ambitious and haughty. How can it consistently be claimed that people of this stamp can, through faith, remove mountains, give their bodies to be burned, prophesy, and so on? It is precisely as I have stated. Paul presents an impossible proposition, implying that since they are devoid of love, they do not really possess those gifts, but merely assume the name and appearance. And in order to divest them of those he admits for the sake of argument that they are what in reality they are not.
There is a lot to think about in that little paragraph.
Thanks LIC and ladies for an exhausting and uplifting weekend.