Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some ramblings of a madman

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Many things have happened since I last posted anything here, not that anybody ever reads this stuff anyway. But some of them really stick out in my mind.

My eldest was confirmed a few weeks ago, "It's cool to come to the Lord's Supper, Dad." Yes it is! It is cool to her your son think that God's gifts of grace are "cool." (He also said, "It's nice not to have mom step over me to get out of the pew.")

Last week, the two boys and I left Pauline alone for a vacation from us, and we went to South Twin Lake up north. Each boy brought a friend. The fish weren't the most cooperative, but we fished hard and caught enough for a massive meal of fish and mashed potatoes on Thursday night. When weather or tired of catching nothing overwhelmed us, Monopoly, Apples to Apples, Cribbage, Polar Bowler, Polar Golfer, and catching mayflies for bait kept us busy. I am proud all four of these young men and their willingness to pitch in and help with all the different tasks we had to do.

Getting home, I had to prepare a sermon for a friend who had died on Thursday. Henry's wife of over 50 years had died in December, and life had been difficult for him. While Henry's faith made it an easy (if there is such a thing) sermon to write, it was hard to preach. I will miss him and our visits.

After the funeral was done, I had to run to Green Bay for the North Wisconsin District Convention. I thank God that Christ is still Lord of His Church.

In the midst of this, I took my lovely bride out to celebrate our 24th Anniversary (6/15), not on the right day, but I think she forgives me. Pauline, I love you - you are my best friend, confidant, helpmate, and so much more!

Nathan & Timothy, I am proud of you both and love you.

And to those of you who read to the end of this, I wish you God's richest blessings.

Peace of the Lord be with you.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Am Baptized

This Sunday we will celebrate the Baptism of our Lord, and in preparing for that day, I again found great comfort. Let's face it, nobody's perfect. What is more, sometimes the Christmas season, for all the joy that is supposedly to accompany it, can also bring with it an overwhelming fatigue. While it is to be about the birth of our Savior, the societal and worldly influences can take and ungodly turn even in the most devote Christians.

As my own sinfulness weighed heavy on my thoughts, I found comfort in Sunday's Gospel.

Let me explain:

Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptizer, who was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. When Jesus came to him, John said, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" To this, esus responded, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting to fulfill all righteousness."

What could this mean? Jesus was without sin, there was no reason for Him to come to John for the forgiveness of sin.

Jesus came to John to be baptized into all sin and death, to fulfill all righteousness for all mankind. Conceived in human flesh, Incarnate God is baptized into us, and lives that life we are unable to live. He is perfect in thought, word and deed. He loves without question or reservation. His Father's will is His greatest joy, even when it means He must suffer the agony of betrayal, arrest, physical torture, crucifixion, and death. Three days later, He is raised by the Father's glory to give us new life.

What a joy it is, to know that Christ was baptized for me. For it means that I also am baptized into Him. I am baptized into His death and His resurrection. I am baptized into His fulfilled righteousness.

When I feel the guilt of my sins weighing heavy upon me (and I indeed did), I can say with all joy and gladness that there is nothing for me to feel guilty about. Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness for me. And as for me? I am baptized! I am in Christ a new creation!