St. Paul's Evangelical
Free Lutheran Church
21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful
The Pastor's Thoughts
"The Bible contained for Luther both Law and Gosbel, both demand and promise ...In the final analysis, there was for Luther no real historical progress in the Bible. Abraham and Sarah stood in exactly the same relationship to God as did Peter and Magdalene, threatened by the same Law and comforted by the same Gospel."
Lent is a teim for reflection, it is a time for us to ponder in a serious way who we are and why God in His infinite mercy chose to save us from eternal damnation. Many Protestant churches don't observe Lent. They simply wait for Easter and the Resurrection services. But I can't help thinking that they are missing out on something really important, something really critical in their lives.
It's not popular these days to focus on sin and on what it could mean for those who don't know Jesus as Lord. We don't want to think that the God who loves us would also be the God who allows us to go to eternal punishment. That's not a tame God and we all want a tame God.
In his book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis used a lion in the hidden land of Narnia to represent Jesus. (Gen. 49:9) One of the children in the bood who has yet to come to know the lion Aslan, asks about Him, "is He safe?" The response is, "no, He's not safe, but He is good."
God is not safe. If He was safe, He wouldn't be the true God. Idols are safe, but the God who controls the universe is not. Because He isn't safe, we need to approach Him, not as our good buddy who will be just what we expect and want Him to be. Rather, we need to approach Him as the One who sees into our hearts and minds and knows what evil lurks there. That is what Lent is for, so that we can also know the evil in ourselves that God has already discerned. Contrary to popular opinion, we are not "good people". We are sinners who cannot redeem themselves from their fate.
When we understand that well, and only when we understand that well, can we truly appreciate Easter and the Resurrectoin. The Good News is only good news because of what Christ has done and because of what we deserve. I hope everyone uses these weeks of Lent to look into their hearts and thank the saving God.
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