Dear Children of God,
This "blog" usually contains my thoughts on a part of God’s Word we’ll hear from during worship. This week, however, I received some encouraging words from Rev. Mark Schroeder, a part of the Southeastern District staff. In this time of great uncertainty and fear, I found his thoughts to be an encouraging and comforting reminder of God’s work in His creation … even today.
Pastor Schroeder writes of God’s perfect love and how that love drives out any fear we might have. God’s Word reminds us that “God is love … There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:16b,18).”
“There is much fear circulating. The coronavirus is at pandemic proportions around the world and the death toll is rising. Economic uncertainty is at pandemic proportions also. The media reports are just as infectious at causing heightened anxiety.
“Most of us have given some thought to addressing the fear of the virus by resorting to physical precautions—proper handwashing, face masks, avoiding crowds by staying at home, passing around hand sanitizer.
“Of course, for us Christians, we have the Lord and his good will for our lives to calm our fears. But that begs a question. Is the Lord the cause of this? In all honesty, he could be. It would be just for him to send this plague to the world to punish it for sin—you and me included. Some folks are claiming just that. We all deserve a plague and its life ending result.
“But Saint John in 1 John 4:18 reminds us—those who are in Christ—that is not the case. We have been ‘sanitized’ completely by the work of Jesus on the cross. As a result of his work, there is no punishment for us for our sin. Jesus took that upon himself because he didn’t want you and me to bear it. That work was perfect love manifest. And because that is true, John says, it is the solution for managing our fear—both physical and spiritual.
“So, in these uncertain times, continue to hold on to the truth that in Jesus we experience perfect love. His love ‘sanitized’ us completely. The Lord is not out to get us with this virus. It is just another profound way for him to open people’s hearts to know that he loves both us and them perfectly. And it is a profound opportunity for us to reflect that perfect love by demonstrating in word and actions that we can live fearlessly since we know full well that he is caring for us perfectly.” – Rev. Mark Schroeder, Southeastern District (LCMS)
The “living water” Jesus speaks of as He encounters the Samaritan woman at the well is faith and trust in God and His Word. There we find hope as His Word helps us to endure in times of suffering (Romans 5:1-5). Trusting God’s perfect love, we come to Him first. In prayer, we ask Him to protect us and guide those He has gifted with abilities to care for us and find new ways to protect us. In prayer we trust, “Thy (not my) will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.”
In Christ’s Love,