Our family just welcomed our fifth grandchild, Kyle Frederick, middle named in honor of my late father-in-law. Kyle was scheduled to arrive 3 days before my birthday, but decided to give my wife a special birthday present and come into this world on her birthday. He truly is a gift from God. I marvel at how such a tiny human being will grow to be an adult someday. God is great all the time and I am so thankful for all the gifts he has given me and my family.
The leaders of the ELCA proclaim lots of new creations these days. Each time the secular world decides to embrace what our Lord prohibits, they decide that now God is telling them “new things” that allow them to support those secular ideals. 1 John 4:1, 5, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” It would appear that the all-knowing leaders of the ELCA fail that smell test. Murdering the unborn becomes a woman’s right to choose and the child is depersonalized and described as fetal tissue. Even the ELCA health insurance plan covers any and all abortion procedures. Homosexuality becomes a loving monogamous relationship between persons of the same gender. Church doctrine is then contrived in order to allow the ELCA to lift up and affirm behavior specifically prohibited in Scripture to show the world how welcoming and tolerant they are. Masculinity is offensive to the feminists and God becomes a woman with pagan goddess worship replacing God in the church’s liturgy. Acknowledging that humans are by nature sinful and unclean harms the self-esteem of those wanting to be affirmed within their sin and confession and absolution is made optional. Satan serves up the Kool-Aid and the enlightened leaders of the ELCA can’t drink enough.
We are all made a new creation the day we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, come to believe that God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ took our sins to the cross, suffered the penalty we deserved, died and rose again, opening the door for us to have eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Whatever we were prior to that time dies and we are born again to love and serve the One who gave His life so that we may live. Every verse of Scripture does indeed speak to us. What the leaders of the ELCA call so quaintly a book of faith stories, is the blueprint that God gave His children to help us lead godly lives. Certainly, God is not asleep at the wheel and if you open your hearts and minds, He will speak to you.
Artwork done by grandson Jack, July 2012.
Jack and Ian, Kyle’s six year old twin brothers, are as different as can be. Jack is very analytical and deliberate, while the elder Ian shoots from the hip, tending to be more reactionary. Grandma and grandpa were spending time with the twins to keep them occupied while mom recovers from the delivery. Grandma was tasked to put the boys to bed and was going to pray the standard, Now, I lay me down to sleep prayer, when Jack asked for a special prayer. Grandma prayed a short prayer asking for healing of Kyle’s diaper rash, for mom to recover, for forgiveness for any misbehavior, and thanks for all of God’s gifts to them. After praying, Jack said, “When you are listening, Jesus can talk to you. He told me what you were going to pray before you said it. Jesus is in your heart, but he is also in your head.” Out of the mouths of babes. Grandma affirmed that God can talk to you if you truly listen. Jack again said that Jesus really did talk to him. Ian was skeptical and raised his doubts, but Jack was steadfast, certain that Jesus is alive and speaks to all His children, if we only listen.
Perhaps as we get older, our ability to hear our Savior speak wanes with all the distractions of our busy lives. Sometimes we need to listen with that innocence of a child, with the faith that He is present in our lives. Jesus speaks to us in many different ways. Each opportunity to serve is an invitation from our Lord to do as He would do. Each prayer we offer is answered, sometimes very obviously, sometimes not always as we would want them to be answered, but we always ask to do what is His will, not ours. From the praise hymn, He is Here, “He is here, He is near us, in our hearts, in our lives, in our midst. He is here, He is near us, calling us to trust in Him.” Talk to the Lord. Offer your prayers. He will answer if we only listen.