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January 4, 2016, 9:49 AM

Roof-deep in The Water


Recently we sat down around our TV at home and watched the roof of a family home float down a swollen river and slam into a bridge near St. Louis, Missouri. Flood waters crested there on New Year's Day, just last week as I write this. When interviewed by a news channel, the father of the family said, "Well, everyone is safe, you know--the important thing. I just didn't expect my house to go floating away!" 

Nobody expects that one day their house will go floating away. Yet in our dangerous world, waters rise and rivers swell beyond their banks. The same is true for our souls as we face the challenges of life and stare down the many temptations that are around us. ...Wait a second. Didn't Jesus say something about this?... Why yes, he did: 

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law." MATTHEW 7:24-29

And so our goal is/should be very simple: hear the Word of Christ. Put it into practice. In this way, we build upon the Rock. Easy, right? 

Well...the devil knocks us off track. All. Of. The. Time. And how he loves it when we settle for the spiritual equivalent of a tent on a flood plain. Will this protect our family? "Who cares," we say, "Sunday is my only day to catch up on household chores." 

Look: Resurrection Lutheran Church is not about making Lutherans, or strengthening a particular denomination. It is about YOU, building on the Rock before the floods come, or even WHILE the flood waters are cresting. Period. The fact that our church is IN a denomination means that we all can receive encouragement and strength from other congregations, District officers who have a wider perspective, health plans and benefit programs for me and other staff members (if we had other staff), etc. 

I hear loudly and clearly the drum beat of my generation, believe me: "we want something authentic, exciting, and REAL, man!" And so they often abandon The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod and denominations like it. Well, when put into this perspective in this article, I pray that you might see all of the denominational stuff differently. It could be said that the Lutheran Church is simply 500 years of disciples building on the Rock. And the story of what they have learned while doing so under different types of governments, in different lands, among different kinds of culture and people groups. 

You see? This is about building on the Rock. I am your trained servant of the Word. Notice I did not say, "fearless leader" or "passionate speaker." I know I am not the greatest preacher of all time. But I DO get excited about the Word and I want you to be excited about it, also. 

Join us for Divine Service Sunday or Wednesday night. Join us for Bible study on Sunday mornings. Buy a good Lutheran study Bible. Or, bring forward suggestions for other Bible studies you'd like to see around church. Studies can be held in your home. I can help you start one. This is more than theological exploration. This is building on the Rock.

Roof-deep in the waters of holy Baptism we are, ideally, being fed and led by Christ our Lord, growing as living stones upon the Rock who is Christ our Lord. Come what may. 

Our children need to know that: come what may. This should be our chief priority.

Yours in the Savior,

Pastor Joel
pastor_joel@live.com
(719) 393-5967  

 

 

 


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