After the events of the week, There is an old Chinese curse that says – “may you live in interesting times”. We are living in interesting times.
We have seen, because of the pandemic, our inability to live the way we have lived and even the ability to bury our blessed dead. We have quarantined and social distanced for the sake of the vulnerable and infirm to the point of not being able to visit them and comfort them. We have prayed and showed our concern for health care workers in their difficult and sometimes thankless task of caring. We have witnessed upheaval in so many aspects of our life even our Pastoral care is called into question by other Pastors. We as an organized church have upheaval as to our work overseas and at home to the point of canceling or postponing the Conventions that set the course of our life together as an organized church together. We, have reached the unprecedented place where we will vote as congregations to postpone or cancel our District convention which throws many plans and work into frustration.
Many of our parishioners are concerned with Heath issues and tests and worries about the future.
All of us have been effected and to pretend otherwise is futile.
The turmoil as citizens is there as well.
As Lutherans we have been taught to live with paradox. We are at the same time sinners and saints. We are in the world and not part of it. We are called to work, fight and pray for the good of neighbors and at the same time believe that God works his will and his way his “wonders” to perform.
We are called to obey God rather than men and yet to submit to authority because the authority that exist come from God. Paul could preach in obedience to the Gospel and yet appeal to the government for redress as a citizen.
We trust in Gods good and gracious will yet doing our best to work for the common good.
Living with paradox is not easy but we are blessed by the greatest paradox of all- that the creator of all things came down and pitched his tent among us to place himself under submission to free us to be in his Kingdom. We live in righteousness forever.
Events unfold that frighten and confuse and make us wonder what is coming to the world and yet we rejoice in the SAvior that came our world to redeem it and return to the Father who is all love. The cross where , Christ bled and died is the great paradox. The sign of death means life and curse becomes blessing.
That is the message- the only message that brings peace and hope. The peace the world can never give but leads to an everlasting peace.
So live in that peace and rejoice even in the turmoil around us.
As the hymn “o rejoice ye Christian’s loudly “says.
Jesu, guard and guide Thy members
Fill Thy brethren with Thy grace
Hear their prayers in every place
Quicken now life’s faintest embers
Grant all Christians, far and near
Holy peace, a glad New Year
Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness
Christ hath done away with sadness
Hence, all sorrow, all repining
For the Sun of grace is shining
Blessings to all