Thursday, October 23, 2014

No Mere Idea

I am not equipped for this-- for this month of marches to the cemetery. I do not have the words to soothe my children when grief and fear strikes in the night. I cannot explain “why,” not to them, and not to myself. I can only hold them close, and it doesn’t seem like enough.

Yes, daddy is with one of the sad families again. Ask me your question. Wait, never mind, don’t ask, because I don't know. Let's crawl under blankets together instead.Life in this broken world often seems like a war of ideas. And circumstances conspire, and speak loud words into our hearts, and we hear “God is not good. He doesn't care. He's not in control.”

We fight back, of course. We soak up God's Word; we breathe in His grace and promises.

A child sings his memory verse: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” and I wonder if the words will inoculate him from all the attacks on his faith. It feels a little bit like feeding him a salad and hoping that it will keep him healthy for the rest of his life.

Our efforts would be futile if this were a mere war of ideas. But Jesus is not an idea, He’s a person.

This is the only reason I dare hope for my children, for myself.

We dare not hope in our righteousness, because we have seen it fail time and again. We dare not hope in our circumstances, or our intelligence, because these things are as fragile as our health. I cannot even guarantee that my arms will be there to embrace them in the night when the fears strike. I am not enough.

But Jesus is not an idea, He is a Person, and He is enough. I cannot be their Jesus, but with the help of God I can point them to Him. I carried each of my children to their Baptismal waters, and there, God adopted them, and gave them new life with Him. He nurtures that life through His Word and in His church. Parents and children alike are invited to come and drink and live; to seek and find and be found.

Christianity is not an idea. Christ is a Person, a God-man who has died and risen and overcome death and the grave. The promise is for us and our children.

Let us take the hands of our friends and our children who suffer, and let us go to together to meet Him in His Word and Sacraments. Let us go together to Him, who binds up the brokenhearted, who heals our wounds, and who renews our hope.

Christ holy vine, Christ living tree
be praise for this blessed mystery
that word and water thus revive
and join us to your tree of life.
(LBS 595)

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