All the Forces that Defy God
In my sermon on January 26th I talked about how Jesus comes to save us from all of the evil forces that defy God and that quite often those forces can be found within ourselves. I know that this is very true of me. I talked about how I often come off as a happy-go-lucky, cheerful, and even goofy person who loves to make a cheesy joke or laugh along with everyone else. This is certainly true! But it does not tell the whole story. Underneath and “within” myself I also absorb a lot of pain, frustration, and sadness that I don’t show to everyone else. I wear a mask that hides what kind of emotions I have absorbed. Something tells me that I am not the only one who feels this way! I am sure that this true for either you (who is reading this) or at least one person you know.
The way that Jesus saves me from this reality takes place on the inside, within the confines of my heart and soul. By hearing the stories of Jesus found in the Gospel and by using a “holy imagination” to put myself in those stories, I feel cleansed of the anxiety, frustration, and sadness. I also feel this way when I come to the Communion table to experience Christ body and blood in the bread and wine. Of course, I have to go back to again and again to the Word and the Sacrament: just as you have to keep drinking water to be stay hydrated. It’s an ongoing process of death and resurrection, destruction and renewal, but it’s a process I don’t go through alone.
I encourage you to take part in that process as well. Jesus came to save us from all the evil forces that defy God, especially the ones found inside ourselves. Your inner reality might look very different from my own. I encourage you to consider it but taking a good long look inside. Then ask Jesus to save, redeem, cleanse, and liberate you from it. Listen to the stories of Jesus and come to the Lord’s Supper. Feel fed and forgiven when you have life in His name. It will change your life now and eternally.
In Christ, Ed