St. Paul's Evangelical
Free Lutheran Church
21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful
The Pastor's Thoughts
"When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul."
In our current sermon series on the Gospel of John we have reached the section of the Gospel dealing with the Lord's trial before Pontius Pilate. The interaction between Jesus and Pilate is fascinating to watch because it shows so very dramatically the difference between people who know God and people who try to rely on their own resources to get along.
Jesus is calm and in control of Himself, and the situation. Pilate is nervous and uncertain over what to do. John's presentation is so powerful you can almost see the perspiration on Pilate's upper lip, you can almost notice the slight tremble in his hand, you can almost see his eyes darting about looking for some way out of his difficulty.
Jesus trusts in God's perfect plan for Him. Pilate doesn't know who, if anyone, he can trust. So he tries to do the best he can with the little he has. But it just won't work out the way he wants it to.
Unfortunately, Christians and the Church in general emulate Pilate far too often and ignore Jesus far too much. Sometimes we look around us and focus on how things used to be or how things "ought" to be and we look toward the ways of the world to accomplish the goals of God. But it just doesn't work that way. The Scriptures say that God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Rather that looking for fixes to what we perceive as problems, maybe we should spend more time trying to understand just what it is that God is doing with us. Because we should never doubt that God is indeed doing something with the people of our congregation and with St. Paul's as a part of the Christian Church.
Discerning God's will and God's plan for us takes some work - prayer work and Scripture work. But it yields the peace of Jesus instead of the worry of Pilate.
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