Monday, January 26, 2009

Condolences/ From Jan. 25th

A pastor friend's mother wrote us a card with this:

The Lord took my son home five years ago, at age 43: it has been a painful journey, but I am always comforted by the promise that he is in the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus for all eternity. That is always our sure hope. May you find strength and comfort in our Savior Jesus. Romans 8:31 "If God is for us who can be against us."

This is such a good saying.

Last night we read, too, from Luther:

Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. We belong to none other than the Lord. This is our greatest comfort and joy: that we have as our Lord He to whom the Father has given all power in heaven and on earth and has place all things in His hands. Who, then, could possibly do us harm? The devil may very well attack us with his murderous rage, but he will never snatch us from the Lord's hand. For we who believe in Jesus Christ and live under His guardianship have also become lords ourselves over the devil, sin, death, etc. In order that such lordship might be ours, He was made man for our sake. He appealed to the Father on our behalf and so loves us in this way: He was condemned, offering Himself up for our sakes. With His precious blood He purchased us and washed us clean from sin. Still more He has placed in our hearts the Holy Spirit, the pledge of our inheritance and blessedness, making us kings and priests for God and joint heirs with Himself. This is most certainly true. O Lord, strengthen our faith that we would always remember these things and never doubt these promises.

This reminds me, too, of Miss Opitz, my religion teacher in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, who had us memorize the entire "Ist Gott fuer mich so trete gleich alles wider mich"
and other hymns. This memorizing used to form a large part of the religion class curriculum (but we never took up the catechism, ever, anywhere.)

When everything seems to be going wrong and when we are totally depressed, it can be very, very hard to hang on to this. But, I always ask myself, why give it up now? When I have nothing else left, I should give this up, too? Throw out the treasure with the pot, the baby with the bathwater, the eternal with the temporary, Christ with this rotten world? Hardly. No. Never. So help us God.

Thankfully, nothing depends on how I feel. Happy or sad, or mega-depressed, it is the same.

No comments: