On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg. In doing so, he broke faith with the church he loved and longed to serve, but which had moved far from where it had been left by Christ.
Our church celebrated this Sunday by remembering the courage it took to stand up to the church authorities of the day. To his end, Luther grieved for the church in which he had been raised.
Our pastor preached today on Psalm 73. It seems an odd choice at first -- an Old Testament psalm speaking to the Reformation? Yet it was meaningful and a clear message for us in our time.
In this psalm Asaph cries out to God asking why the wicked prosper. He admits to God that he himself has almost slipped into sin, abandoning faith, when it seems that there is no gain or profit or even joy in believing in and following God. And yet, he is profoundly grateful that God has shown him a glimpse of the final destiny of those people whose prosperity he envied. Their temporal, or earthly, outcome may look really juicy, but they will spent eternity separate from God.
A true believer in Christ does not wish that fate on anyone. We know the joy and love and complete acceptance that flows from a personal intimate relationship with Jesus. And we grieve that our prosperous neighbors, some of whom are REALLY NICE people, but without Christ, are condemned.
Lord, please give me an urgency in my soul to minister to and share your word of Truth with my neighbors, friends and family members who do not have personal relationships with you. Bind me from using your Truth in a way that does not glorify you, but instead allow me to use it to wrap them in love and kindness. Amen