From the Pastor’s Desk – July 2022
I have been teaching the catechism for years. While I believe the in the catechism and the foundational documents of our faith, and the truth they bring to us (and I continue to teach them), I have come to understand that what is most important is our relationship with Jesus.
We live in a universe and in a world with huge threats to existence and with sickeningly large social and geopolitical problems. There are meteors hurtling through space, many of which would wipe out life on earth if they struck us. There are dictators harboring or seeking weapons of mass destruction, many of which threaten our survival as a species. In the Middle East but in so many other places, too, there are seemingly intractable hatreds and prejudices between and among various ethnic groups. There are diseases like viruses galloping through continents, threatening to wipe out the millions. Hunger and poverty loom up like a whole mountain range of daunting problems whose heights we don’t know how to scale.
Yet in the midst of all these threats from within and from without, in the face of great sin and evil, faced with maladies that are global in scope, we Christian people swing in with no more than that simplest of all messages: Jesus saves. A Jewish carpenter’s son from halfway around the world and from over 2,000 years ago is the one we hold up as some kind of solution. And not a few folks, some who are with us here today, want to say, “Give me a break!”
To so much of our size-crazed culture, the gospel is too small for the task at hand. In the face of untold millions of starving people, we seem to offer just five loaves and two fish. In the face of trillion-dollar federal and international budgets, we seem to celebrate the widow’s penny going into the collection plate. In the face of hostile terrorists and repressive regimes headed up by the hounds of hell itself, we dispatch lamb-like folks to China and the Sudan and Afghanistan (you name the place) as missionaries witnessing to the Lamb who was slain. None of it seems equal to the task of reaching, much less changing, this sorry and troubled old world. Yet as Mark 4 reminds us, hidden in the midst of all that is a small mystery — hiding the uncontainable glory — of the kingdom of God.
“Jesus is Lord.” This was one of the earliest Christian creeds (see 1 Corinthians 12:3). We can say that, and still shrug our shoulders. How do we get from “Jesus is Lord” to “Jesus is MY Lord?” God has come to save ME! This is good news for ME! That’s what I’m trying to teach our young people (and the rest of you for that matter).
Parents, I need your help!
As always, I would love your comments!