From the Word
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5
My January 2020 Epistle article made no mention of pandemic, virtual worship services, not seeing some of our loved ones for months at a time, no access to shut ins, or our members being in the hospital or dying without in person spiritual care. It also did not speak of God’s life-preserving grace, the effectiveness of the Word without being present together, renewed appreciation for the Sacrament after going a long time without it, or the way God would use feeble, inadequate contributions to touch God’s people.
In a time of world-wide anxiety and frustration, we find countless reasons to bless the Lord. These reasons are the countless ways He has blessed us. What the world sees as closed doors, we see as windows of opportunity to share our faith. While others live in fear of disease because it brings death, we live in the confidence of eternal life in heaven. None of us looks forward to the process of dying, but we do not fear the result. We have the privilege to reach out to those who fear the unknown of sin and death with the Good News of Jesus.
Jesus knows the world of disease. He lived here and got sick. Jesus knows about sin and its consequences. He took both to the cross in our place. Jesus knows the looming doom of death. He swallowed up death forever, that we might have life abundant here, by grace, and in heaven. This is the message we bring our world in pandemic and panic. Jesus came, lived, suffered, died, and rose to conquer all we fear. He has overcome the world and the forces in it that threaten and harm. In our witness of example and our witness of words, Bless the Lord!