Unnatural Things

There are things in life that are natural: peanut butter and jelly; pizza and beer; salsa and chips.  Another thing that is natural in a world sense is this: a child buries a parent.  That is the natural order of things, or that is how it should be.  What is not natural is this: a  parent should NEVER bury a child!  Unfortunately, that has just recently taken place in my congregation.  This last Sunday, a 22-year old member of my congregation passed away (on All Saints’ Day).  The family was naturally distraught.  So why is it that a parent is now burying their child?

Sin.  Because of the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, we now have a world that has been infested with sin, from the top to the bottom, inside and outside.  Paul writes to the Romans, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)  Because of that, sin has become the “unnatural natural” part of life.  That means that we will have unnatural things as a result of the sin that we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and a result of the sin that we commit daily in our lives. 

But praise be to God that there is a natural result to this “unnatural natural” called sin.  The natural result is Jesus Christ and what it is that He has done for us.  Later to the Romans, Paul writes, “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:9-11)

For His saints, for those who die in the faith, we have the assurance of life everlasting.  The Psalmist writes, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Ps. 116:15)  This is the joy that we have.

When we face the unnatural things of this life, we are ever reminded of the natural result of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has made all things natural, that is, holy and sinless.

Monday’s Musings 06/16/08

This was the Hymn of the Day yesterday.

God Loved the World So That He Gave – LSB 571

God loved the world so that He gave
His only Son the lost to save,
That all who would in Him believe
Should everlasting life receive.

Christ Jesus is the ground of faith,
Who was made flesh and suffered death;
All then who trust in Him alone
Are built on this chief cornerstone.

God would not have the sinner die;
His Son with saving grace is nigh;
His Spirit in the Word declares
How we in Christ are heaven’s heirs.

Be of good cheer, for God’s own Son
Forgives all sins which you have done;
And, justified by Jesus’ blood,
Your Baptism grants the highest good.

If you are sick, if death is near,
This truth your troubled heart can cheer:
Christ Jesus saves your soul from death;
That is the firmest ground of faith.

Glory to God the Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To You, O blessèd Trinity,
Be praise now and eternally!

Monday’s Musings

This was our opening hymn in worship yesterday.  A very fitting hymn for the life of the Church.

Built on the Rock – LSB 645

Built on the Rock the Church shall stand
Even when steeples are falling.
Crumbled have spires in ev’ry land;
Bells still are chiming and calling.
Calling the young and old to rest,
But above all the souls distressed,
Longing for rest everlasting.

Surely in temples made with hands
God, the Most High, is not dwelling;
High above earth His temple stands,
All earthly temples excelling.
Yet He who dwells in heav’n above
Chooses to live with us in love,
Making our bodies His temple.

We are God’s house of living stones,
Built for His own habitation.
He through baptismal grace us owns
Heirs of His wondrous salvation.
Were we but two His name to tell,
Yet He would deign with us to dwell
With all His grace and His favor.

Here stands the font before our eyes,
Telling how God has received us.
The altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice
And what His Supper here gives us.
Here sound the Scriptures that proclaim
Christ yesterday, today, the same,
And evermore, our Redeemer.

Grant, then, O God, Your will be done,
That, when the church bells are ringing,
Many in saving faith may come
Where Christ His message is bringing:
“I know My own; My own know Me.
You, not the world, My face shall see.
My peace I leave with you.  Amen.”

God of love, through Your Son You have commanded us to love one another.  By the guidance of Your Word and Spirit, deliver us from impenitence and teach us the truth that we might confess our sins, receive Your forgiveness, and be reconciled to one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.