Redemption Lutheran Church

Redemption Lutheran Church, 2450 W Michigan Ave. Battle Creek, MI 49037  269 964-2321



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Redemption Newsletter

May

My friend Rob described it best.  Economically, I am saving much more money staying at home.  I can buy the same beer at the store I would normally get at the bar for a fraction of what I would have paid at the bar.  Why not stay at home and drink a beer which cost you less than $2 opposed to going out and paying maybe $7 for the same beer at his favorite bars?  But it is still not the same nor is it as good.  Rob explained, he enjoys going to his favorite establishments to meet up with friends or even to just strike up a conversation with a stranger who might be sitting next to him.

The same can be said about going out to eat vs eating at home, going to a movie vs watching a video at home, traveling vs a stay-cation and any number of other activities.  We can do many of the same things by ourselves and at home, but we are better together.

In the beginning, we were created to be together.  In Genesis 2:18, the LORD God Almighty says of Adam, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  It is not only the case of man and woman as they became one flesh in marriage, but also the need all of us have for friendship and human contact.  Even deeper than the need for human contact, we were created to be in the image of God.  There is a union of a relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  They are one God in three Persons, but they also live together in a relationship of mutual friendship and love.  When God created man he made him to be in a relationship with Himself and to have contact with each other.  Peace and joy and love with our Creator and with one another.

But sin has brought about a dissolution of all of these relationships.  With the present pandemic we see how the words, “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it…thorns and thistles is shall bring forth for you,” (Genesis 3:17-18) play out in our present lives.  The curse is not just on the soul of man but on the whole of creation including these bodies of ours.  Our once perfect union with the Trinity, our relationships with each other and the whole of creation is brought down because of sin.  This is not an attempt to explain the exact reasons or the “why” of the pandemic, but instead to describe the state of creation and humanity since the fall.  This and all previous pandemics are only a part of the evil of the fall.

The result has been to separate us.  The original goal of Satan was to divide God from us and us against each other.  In this present time we see ourselves isolated, quarantined and staying home and away from each other as the result of a pandemic.  We see people suffering and sickness from the virus and we see death.

Christ Jesus has promised, “lo I am with you always even until the end of the age.” (Mathew 28:20) Again, he is the God of creation and he is a relational God.  He came to draw us again to himself.  He came to walk in the same flesh and blood as you have.  He came to be friend of sinner and our brother.  Paul in Ephesians (see chapters 2-5) and elsewhere describes you and me and all Christians as one body joined together with Christ Jesus as our head.  We are united to him in the mystical union of the feast of his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper.  Then, finally, we will be united in the kingdom to come and a new heaven and new earth.  By his cross we are rescued from sin and restored to a union with our heavenly Father and with one another.

Though the work of Satan may seem to be successfully dividing and separating us; though we feel the despair of loneliness, the feeling of helplessness in the face of the epidemic; though we are uncertain about the immediate future and we are frustrated to not be in worship together, we have a God who has not and will never abandon us and we are one people united in Christ Jesus.

Although scripture only mentions, “a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,” on the day he destroys death forever and wipes away every tear, (Isaiah 25:6-8) I will go out on a theological limb and claim we may sit too with a beer shooting the breeze with one another and Rob on a wonderful and eternal Saturday afternoon with the sun coming in through the window of our favorite bar.  Finally, and perfectly united again with our Triune Creator and united with each other.


 


April  2020, Servers calendar.pdf

    Servers Calendar