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February 2016 - Check Up Time

Check Up Time

It’s checkup time.  A little over a year or so ago I challenged the Saints of Saint John’s to be spending more time in the Word and Confessions as a regular part of their daily walk with Christ.  Well it’s checkup time – how did you do?  Were you able to set aside more time in the Word of God?  Were you able to add regular readings and prayerful consideration of the catechism?  Were you able to have regular readings and study in the Book of Concord? 

This is a good checkup time because we are just about to enter Lent.  Why would that matter? Well, we of course know that Lent is a penitential season of the Church Year, focusing on WHY our Lord Jesus Christ came to us in the flesh as our Substitute to suffer and die in our place to satisfy the Justice of God and save us from eternal death. But there is another important historical aspect to Lent.  In the early church, the days of Lent were also catechetical days – a time of instruction for catechumens to prepare them for becoming part of the Body of Christ at their baptism.  And though your Confirmation days may be a few years ago, catechesis is never over.  We are always to be feasting upon the Word of God, the very thing we were created to live on.  There is a reason I inscribe in every Bible that we hand out, “2 Peter 3:18”, which states: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Your Lord wants you to grow in Him -- to not remain as babes on spiritual milk, but to be chewing upon the solid meat of His Word, growing and maturing in Christ that your faith may be protected from the deceptions and traps of Satan and the world’s philosophies.

You well know that we find ourselves in an increasingly pagan world – animosity toward Christianity is growing and it seems like the world is growing in insanity calling that which is good evil and that which is evil good and reveling in its shame and violence.  It is a world of darkness that would threaten to swallow us in despair, falsehood and evil, except by God’s grace we have been given the Light of His Word that floods us with life and hope in Christ and equips us to reflect that life and hope to those around us trapped in that darkness.

The Lutheran Church has historically been about teaching and proclaiming the Faith taught by the Apostles and rediscovered by the Reformers.   We are about defending that Truth and speaking the Truth of God’s Word in its entirety and purity in love.  But to do so, you need to know that Word of God!  I cannot stress enough the need for all of us to not only be faithful in our attendance in the Divine Service (not only being there physically but especially focusing on that Word while there!) and Sunday School (I especially would encourage all of our members to come to Sunday School as frequently as you can to be instructed further in the Word of God) but also to study that Word at home. 

It’s checkup time.  It’s Lent. It is time for penitential reflection upon our sinful nature and perpetual need of God’s grace in Christ, grace that is given us through the Means of His Word and Sacraments.  And it is time for our catechesis – time for us to further immerse ourselves in the Word of God, not only at church, but daily in our homes.  By the Grace of God, check and see that you are reading and prayerfully studying God’s Word.  Memorize it.  Meditate upon it.  And be prayerfully reading your catechism.  It is NOT just a book for children, but a vital tool help keep you grounded in God’s Word.   And continue to read, or if you haven’t begun yet break out, your Book of Concord (or visit the link to it on our web page).  It is not a resource “just for pastors or theologians”, but a fantastic tool for all who want to grow in the Faith and be better equipped to fight against the false teachings of the world and the efforts of the devil to twist the Word of God to try and remove the comfort God would have you enjoy as His child. 

It is Lent – time for you catechumens to “Grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.

Pastor

 

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