School Newsletter for October 2019
Have you been feeling afraid, lately? Fear is everywhere. News stations use it to drive up their ratings. Politicians use it to get people onboard with their cause. Parents might use it to motivate their children, or teachers their students. But why is fear used so often and by so many different people and groups?
Humility is a tricky thing. We recognize that being humble is a good thing and that having a domineering ego that takes hold of us and dictates all of our decisions tends to go very poorly. But how often is humility seen as a sign of weakness, something that can be taken advantage of? False-humility is also a problem, making it look like you’re humble but it’s only a show.
Jesus in our Gospel for this morning forces us into real humility, humility that recognizes what we are by nature and what we need God to do for us. This humility, when properly applied, causes us to struggle through this life to the narrow door of eternal life with him, trusting his forgiveness to undo our grievous and innumerable faults.
Peace is generally seen as a good thing. We’d rather have peace with our neighbor than be the midst of a feud over the fence. We’d rather have peace with a coworker rather than dealing with passive-aggressive animosity.
And yet, Jesus seems to put a wet blanket on our joy and aspirations for peace, doesn’t he? He said in our lesson for this morning, “I came to throw fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already ignited. But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is finished! Do you think that I came to bring peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” So, were the angels wrong? Did Simeon have a false comfort? Is Jesus set on bringing peace or not?
GDLS Newsletter for September 2019
It’s a lesson all parents have to teach their children. We should be kind to everyone. Parents have to teach that because that is no child’s (and no adult’s) default state of mind.
Jesus’ resurrection gives us a glimpse of what is to come. Our tomb will be like his tomb. Our coffin will be like the young man in Nain’s coffin. That is to say, empty. Because Jesus has defeated death for us, we will live with him forever. Physical death will likely claim our life unless Jesus returns before that day. But that death is only temporary. Our eternal lives are safe and secure with the God who visited his people to save them.
We may not be able to explain the how’s of the Triune God, but we know the what’s and the why’s: God loves us. We are freed from the debt we owed to God. We are rescued from hell. We will be with our Triune God face-to-face in eternal life, just as he originally intended for us to be. Thank you, Father, Son, and Spirit, for these and so many other blessings!
Why do we observe Pentecost? Is it anything more than the birthday of the Christian church? As we see this account freshly again this morning, we’re left asking, What does this mean?