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From the East Regional Pastor: Amid time of change rely on Jesus being there among us

February 8, 2019 No Comment

By: Rev. Marvin Bublitz

Rev. Marvin Bublitz

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the Lord be with you.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

In late 2018 we began a new Church Year with the First Sunday in Advent. Since that time we have heard in the Sunday lessons the many changes for Zechariah and Elizabeth, for Mary and Joseph, and changes for the world through the Christ Child.

We are now in the Epiphany season, when we hear of the changes Jesus brought into the lives of those He walked among. We must never forget that He is among us also. Every Lord’s Day when His people gather to confess their sins, Jesus is there with the sweet balm of forgiveness. Every Lord’s Day when His people gather and hear His Holy Word, the Word Incarnate is there. Every Lord’s Day when His people gather to receive His Body and Blood, the Lamb of God is there.

It is important for us to remember and rely on Jesus being there among us, for us. Years ago a member said to me that she needs to be in church every Sunday to be strengthened for the week ahead. Indeed, we come before the Lord in worship weighed down with sin and failures from the previous week and He forgives. We come before Him with fears of what lies in the week ahead and He strengthens us with Word and Supper. Every Lord’s Day, we receive in Word, Absolution, and Sacrament the blessings He was born, lived, died and rose again to give us.

As we start this new calendar year of 2019, many are fearful of the changes we face. In the world there is unrest. It is not much better in the church. We are starting 2019 with a new synodical structure. Some are thinking this will save the Synod. Others fear it will ruin the Synod. Both are wrong. It is only structure. It is not Word and Sacraments. The structure is there to facilitate our work together as we receive the Lord’s blessings in Word and Sacraments. When a structure no longer does that, we change it. Word and Sacrament do not change.

People ask me, “What is the best thing we can do to make this new structure work?” The answer is simply: Go to worship every Lord’s Day to receive His forgiveness, hear His Word and take His very body and blood into your own. Kneel at His feet. Learn from Him. Receive His forgiveness. Feast at His table. Then go about your daily week as a forgiven, blood-bought child of God. Go back to work or school or family with joy in the knowledge that no matter what changes may come upon you in this life, the Lord Jesus Christ does not change. His love for you does not change. His desire for you to be in His Father’s mansion does not change. Share that joy and knowledge with those who do not have it. Tell everyone what He has done and what He does every Lord’s Day for you.