Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



Pick and Choose

Lent 2018

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

1 Corinthians 15:55

The Black Death was a horrible pandemic in the fourteenth century, taking the lives of millions of people. Some think that the children’s rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" was recited at that time because of the dreadful killing disease. Yet many historians see no evidence that it came from this time period. In fact, there are several distinct versions of the rhyme. So, what does this mean? Well, I suppose you can pick and choose what you want to believe as to the rhyme and/or the legends of when and why it was written.

As we come into the season of Lent, many people pick and choose what they desire to believe and think. Many take the historical account of the crucifixion of Christ simply as a story that is told, but having no real significance. Others think that it applies to them, but that the work of Christ needs to be supplemented by what they do. So for many, the Lenten season is turned into a way to earn forgiveness by what we give up or what extra things we do.

But that doesn’t take the biblical narrative seriously. While the Black Death was a biological pandemic, this world is in the grips of a far more significant spiritual pandemic. The world is infected with the dreadful disease of sin which causes death for all. "The wages of sin is death,"(Romans‬ 6‬:23‬). "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans‬ 3‬:23). Do we truly understand that we are totally infected and we cannot cure our sin disease by what we do?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Thanks be to God, by the power of the Holy Spirit who calls us through the word, we know that there is a cure! There is life in the face of death! We cannot cure, help, or do anything with our sin, but Jesus did! He became our cure by dying our death.

As Christians, we know the reason for the passion of Christ, but what about our relatives, our neighbors, our friends, or co-workers that do not believe? This, my dear brothers and sisters, is why Lent is a most wonderful time of the year. We have the opportunity to share this event that is life-changing and life-giving for us and for them. It changes us from lost to found, from death to life.

"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."(1 Corinthians‬ 15‬:50-57‬)

We have victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil by what Jesus did for us and for all people. The Lenten season is an excellent opportunity for us to tell of the true cure for the dreadful killing disease of sin. As we have opportunity, let us take this time to share with those who are confused, searching, and unbelieving of what truly saves! A blessed Lenten Season to each of you.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Allen Anderson
President, Rocky Mountain District of the LCMS
CUI Board of Regents

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