“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
I cannot begin to count the number of times that I have said this verse. The truth and insight found in the written word of God are transformative in nature. My ability to see the big picture, to see beyond myself, is in a constant state of renewal because of my being simultaneously a saint and a sinner, one of the chief tenets of our Lutheran theology. Because of the massive amounts of information and news outlets at my fingertips, I can at first glance understand the world around me better. However, often I feel as if the constant barrage of news has the opposite effect of clearing my vision, because the problems and pain in our world today seem to be so big in proportion to my ability to address them. This is one of the times when I feel the need for prayer and Bible study, to spend time in the growth of my relationship with our God through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
God calls you and me to live fully in the present, to put our trust in our God who is “gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 145:8) Our identity as children of God empowers us to see the world around us differently, to see the world more and more as Jesus sees the world. Full of brokenness and pain, sin and tragedy, but also full of love and hope and joy. In the face of terrorist threats and school shootings, hurricanes and wildfires, floods and tornadoes, Ebola fear and wars and rumors of wars, how do we respond? With the knowledge that God has not abandoned us, that God has not given up on us but instead “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17) Together, we have a part to play in the work of God’s kingdom. Know that you are loved by God, that you have been saved in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and that you are called to become a disciple of Jesus. You can and do make a difference, in the world, in our life together at Christ the King, in our communities. We have been given everything, and that in and of itself is an example of the vastness and wideness of God’s love and mercy. Be the change that God calls you to be, in every aspect of your life, as you respond to God’s gift of life with rejoicing and gratitude.
Living in God’s amazing grace,
Pastor Matthew Groenke