Rev. Joshua D. Reimche took this picture.

DSCN0271I am not sure what it means but it is, as they say, evocative.  It evokes strong images and memories of close calls and near misses.  It reminded me of my interpretation of a quote from Margaret Atwood – “when you find yourself at the mercy of events you quickly find that events have no mercy”.

It is purely by the mercy of God that the blackspots in our life and soul do not destroy us completely.  It is purely by the mercy of God that we are declared righteous and free and sinless.  Events have no mercy but God does and the task of preaching is to announce that mercy in Christ for sinners.

Luther’s emphasis upon the principle that the “preached word of God was the word of God”, did not imply that the content of the sermon was not important or even of secondary significance. To a preacher who could not proclaim God’s grace, but who instead raised doubts in people’s minds, Luther suggested that it was reasonable to say, “If I am to hear no other comfort from you than this, that I can never know how I stand with God, then be the devil’s confessor, and be a preacher in the abyss of hell.”[1]

[1] Heiko A. Oberman, “Preaching and the Reformation,” Theology Today, 18(1962), pp. 27ff