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Lent 5 2020 Judica - Hebrews 9:11-15

Lent 5 2020 Judica

Hebrews 9:11-15

March 29, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

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

Today is the beginning of Passiontide, a mini season within Lent wherein we have a special period in commemoration of our Lord’s Passion and death. It’s our final preparation for Easter. Throughout the season of Lent we are led to repent over our sins, but we are never left without the joyous assurance of our acceptance by God for the sake of Christ.  The enormity and seriousness of our sin is held before us in light of Jesus’ suffering and death.  There is a calming joy in our redemption even when we focus upon the great sacrifice of our Lord. 

It’s our Lord’s will that we are reminded of Him and His love for us.  It is the cross we need to remember. From the arms of the Cross comes the power to transform and direct us. There we are cured of sin. There the Christian character is acquired. We must meet our Lord on Golgotha if we are to know Him. 

What we find at Golgotha is not for the squeamish. Christ's bloody death is at the heart of all we believe. The Old Testament is full of bloody sacrifices. The blood of the ram sacrificed in place of Isaac. The blood of the Passover Lamb that marked the doors of the Israelites. The blood of the Covenant splashed upon the altar and the people. The blood of the bull as a sin offering. The blood of the goat sprinkled on the horns of the altar. When Solomon built the temple, he offered up 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. That's a lot of blood. Why? Because the life of a creature is in the blood. And blood shed must be paid for by blood shed. Sin must be met by sacrifice. Apart from the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22).

In the book of Hebrews, Jesus is presented to us as both the Sacrifice and the Sacrificer, the High Priest.  Hebrews tells us that Jesus enters once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of His own blood” (Hebrews 9:12). Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and He does this for the explicit purpose of shedding blood.  The blood of the animals sanctified, made holy, for the purification of the flesh, but it was subject to death. Once shed, the life in the blood dies. But the blood of Jesus, the blood of the Lamb of God, subjects death to Himself.  He dies but does not stay dead.  His blood runs free and living through His veins even now as He is seated at the right hand of the Father on His heavenly throne.  

By His blood we are cleansed from our sins. By his blood, sin is paid for, we have atonement with God.  He purifies the conscience, a conscience spoiled by sin and ruined to dead works. His blood poured out upon the cross, shed for you, to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. The very blood of Christ, shed on the cross, we now drink from the chalice. The very blood of Christ we receive, and it cleanses us from all sin, making it possible for sinful flesh to be in the presence of a holy and righteous God. Death itself retreats in the presence of the blood of Life, as Jesus promises in John 6:54-56, “Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise Him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him.”  Again He says in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.” 

Now that Divine blood is more than mere sentiment or abstraction, for we drink it in. And in doing so we drink in the life of Christ, even as we are cleansed and receive all the atoning benefits of our Lord's death.  One of the greatest tragedies of this current situation is the temporary loss of the reception of the blood of Jesus in the Sacrament.  May these days created in Christians everywhere an urge and desire to receive the Sacrament as often as possible and yearn for the days soon to come when we can gather around the altar once more.  Until then, you are not separated from Christ, nor from the benefits of His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection. For by faith, all the benefits of the cross are yours. You are still forgiven because of the blood of the Lamb. Yes, with good reason, we glory in Christ's bloody sacrifice; in the Passion and Cross and the Resurrection.

This Divine blood now purifies us to serve the living God and people enlivened through faith.  The High Priest has made you priests. If you truly believe God’s word that through Christ you are made into a royal priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9), you should think more about what the priesthood means. The vocation of the priest is to sacrifice, it is a bloody ordeal.  As priests of the Lord present yourselves, soul and body, as a living sacrifice to God. But it is not your blood you need to sacrifice, nor your good works to cover up your sins. The blood of Christ has been shed.  You are already a bloody people, sprinkled and cleansed in Holy Baptism, fed and nourished by the Sacrament, set apart to serve in our vocations as parent, child, sibling, citizen, teacher, student, friend, neighbor.

Having your sins paid for by Christ, your sacrifice is now turned to the needs of others. It ought to be your joy and privilege to serve the living God in your vocation and in service of your neighbor in these unprecedented times.  As fear of sickness and death surrounds you, live and trust in the provision of the Lord, who shed His blood that you may have life eternal. In the name of our crucified and living T Christ. Amen. 

Some of this is based off thoughts by Dr. Peter Scaer

Lent 4 2020 Laetare - John 6:1-15

Lent 4 2020 Laetare

John 6:1-15

March 22, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

John 6:1–15    1After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

 

This Lenten season has become a time of unexpected fasts.  Some of these fasts have been self-imposed – not going out as much as we normally would, refraining from being in larger crowds, going without certain foods or supplies because we do not want to the hassle of the stores or whatever else. 

Some of these fasts, however, are out of our control.  Activities are being cancelled left and right. Stores, schools, church activities, restaurants, and more. While some might fast for a while, at least when it is self-denial, we often know the end date, or intend to make a lifelong change on purpose.  When it is out of our control there is fear, sadness, despair over what has been given up. 

Fasting does serve a purpose, and there is a reason why Christians have long held this practice, especially during the season of Lent. It’s not to kick start a diet, or give up some overindulgence for a time, but there is spiritual side of it all. In the times of denial of certain things, we look outside of ourselves and our efforts to the One who gives every good and perfect gift from above.

It is the case that we find ourselves following Jesus to hear His teaching and yet wondering all the while how we are going to eat, how we are going to be provided for, and what tomorrow might bring. Where are we really going?  In John 6, crowds have been following Jesus because they had seen the signs He was doing on the sick.  The Passover was at hand. This was the greatest holiday, the greatest festival of the entire year.  Like so many of us today when we celebrate holidays, it was also a time of great feasting. But how were they going to do that in their situation. They were too far out, not enough stores, not enough money, not enough food for the people. And what they do have seems too little.

What are you hungry for? Hungry to get out of your house? Hungry for the daily routine that seems to have been left behind? Almost everyone will experience these sorts of hunger and inconvenience because of recent events and the events to come. For some, it will be much more than an inconvenience. Hardships will come to many. Fasts from jobs, income, food, healthcare, and the list may go on. As Christians, we want to help others but say the Lord, “Where are we going to get the money for this? There isn’t enough for each of them to get a little.” Jesus does not let empty shelves prevent Him from feeding His people, nor overwhelming crowds, nor fear or uncertainty.  We sing in one of our Communion hymns. “You satisfy the hungry heart, with gift of finest wheat. Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat” (LSB 641). With the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus reveals Himself to be the Christ, the Son of the living God. He is the bread of life who gives Himself for the life of the world.

As Jesus used the gifts of the five loaves and two fish to provide for others, and used people to distribute this to others, so He continues to work through meager beginnings and efforts of people here and now.  We are to love another as Christ has loved us. We are to serve one another as we have been served. We are to It is important to remember that Jesus is Lord over the government as well as over His Church.  all authority on heaven and earth has been given to Christ, and He wields it through authorities He establishes on earth, as sinful, corrupt, or broken as it may be in its worst.  St. Paul reminds us that that authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing [to be a servant for your good and to punish evil] (Romans 13:1-7). God’s will will be done, according to His Word and promise. 

So not be afraid. You already have victory in Christ.  Jesus continues to feed His people by means of His Word, and this is the food of eternal life.  He draws His people to Himself, and indeed uses times of hardship and struggle to do so. I pray it is that way for you now.  Lent, Holy Week, Eater, are celebrated everyday through our life in Christ. This doesn’t only happen in the church services, but in the lives of the people of God when they remember and believe in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The full forgiveness of our sins, the grace of God, eternal life are all given to you freely and received by faith in Him. Jesus is the bread of life by whom we have life eternal. In His T holy name. Amen. 

Lenten Midweek 3 2020

Lent Midweek 3 2020

Psalm 91

March 18, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

How quickly things can change in life.  In our time, information is passed along at such a rate that things can change not only day by day but hour by hour. For us in the last month, the world has been turned upside down. From smooth and routine for many of us, to uncertain We make plans, but those only stand according to God’s will. He guides and directs all things, often for a purpose that we cannot see or understand. We know these things, but to believe in challenging times is challenging. 

Which promises of God are the hardest for you to believe in?  What do you struggle with right now? That God promises to provide, even in the midst of need? That God is always present? That God will never forsake you no matter how bad you are or have been or will be? 

I think that Genesis 22 is the place where one sees a biblical person hold onto the Lord's promise, and frankly, it’s pretty amazing.  God promises to make Isaac into a great nation, then He commands Abraham to kill him. Abraham is like, "No problem. Slitting my sons throat and sacrificing his body cannot prevent the Lord from keeping His word." What faith, what hope. 

We are the children of Abraham through faith in the promise, by the grace of God, and we are preserved by the grace of God. When our faith falters, the Lord is faithful and just. He enlivens, He forgives, He strengthens, He blesses. 

Psalm 91 is a strong confession of that faith and example of a life entrusted to God’s protection and safety. When fearful times arise, we seek the Lord’s refuge, for He is our fortress. There is a sure defense found in the Lord.  The Psalmist writes, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16). 

Those who find refuge in the nailed pierced hands of Christ are not exempt from the dangers of the world. Faith is not a magic talisman or a good luck charm we carry around. But the Lord does command His holy angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. God does not let these threats and hardships separate us from His love in Christ Jesus. He is our one foundation. We wait the consummation of peace forevermore. 

Because Jesus lives, so shall His Church. The Lord does not and will not stop His work on, in, and through His church, nor turn His back on His children. Where the Word of God is present, preached, taught, and administered, faith will be awakened and strengthened. And where two or three are gathered, Christ is present. God has said it. Faith believes it. Where Christ is present and active, so is the Church. We are not idle, but active in prayer, in service toward others, in love and compassion, to share the good news of our salvation in Christ, to shine a light in the darkness of our world, to bring comfort to the afflicted, peace in the midst of uncertainty, and the Life of the world to the world. 

Funeral for Betty Lubcke

Funeral Sermon for Betty Lubcke

Revelation 21:1-7

March 16, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

Hear again the words of the Revelation to St. John chapter 21, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall their be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 

Now, we are here with tears in our eyes. A wonderful woman has died, and it is sad for us. We feel a great loss.  What a wonderful comfort, and what a wonderful message we hear from God today. God makes His dwelling place with us. This is talking about the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, became man. But it’s not just about what happened 2000 years ago, it’s also about what is happening now, and what will happen.

What we see here is God who cares for and comforts His people. This is no absentee God. He breaks into His own creation, He makes His dwelling place with men as a man so that He might bring eternal life to all who hear His word and believe in Him.  That was Betty’s hope. That is Betty’s life. This fact shaped her whole identity. It’s no secret that Betty loved books and that she loved the Good Book. It was more than a love of reading and learning. She read these books and talked about them and led Bible studies, she was involved in all kinds of church activities, she raised a family, that she may know you here in order that she may know you there.  She believed Jesus’ words to His disciples that these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in His name. She was not perfect, she knew it. She confessed throughout her life that she was a poor miserable sinner who was forgiven for Jesus’ sake solely out of His grace. She loved the Lord because He loved her.  And she wanted her family and her friends to know this, to believe this, to trust in the same promise of God. 

God has made a promise. This promise was confirmed through the death of His own Son. The Father promised Jesus, His only begotten Son, that anyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life and be raised up bodily on the Last Day. Jesus came into the world for that purpose – to restore our eternal relationship with God. Because Jesus came, because God made His dwelling place with man, everyone who believes in Him will be raised. 

Jesus faced many troubles and struggles in His life. He saw the sickness, decay, and death in the world. He saw hatred and deception, the hated and the deceived. He watched children and loved ones die.  When Jesus’ friend Lazarus died, Jesus wept. Think about that for a moment. Jesus, the Lord of life, who was able to call Lazarus out of the tomb to life again, wept. He cried over death because it is not how we were created to be. Death is not a part of life. Yet, even Jesus died, betrayed, abandoned, alone. 

But we are not here to shed a tear for Jesus.  Nor are we here to shed a tear for Betty. Our tears are for ourselves, for our loss and sadness. We are here to have our tears wiped away by the nailed pierced; living hands of God in the flesh, of Jesus. For Christ is risen. He is risen indeed, alleluia! In Christ, God made His home with man unto death. And in Christ, God makes a home for man unto life. Jesus lives, risen from the dead, the defeater sin and death itself. A time is coming, it is coming soon, when there will be more tears or mourning or pain because the cause of these things is gone, the former things passed away. We’ll see Betty there, it was her prayer that she see you as well. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.

 

Lent 3 2020 Oculi - Psalm 25

Lent 3 2020 Oculi

Psalm 25

March 15, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

Lent Midweek 3 2020 - Psalm 6

Lenten Midweek 2 2020

Psalm 6

March 18, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

God’s wrath is real.  We don’t like to think about it much, and often times it is thought of as an ambiguous mystery that might or not be something to be nervous about. In tonight’s reading from St. Paul, however, we see it plain and clear.  Three times in Romans 1 Paul writes of God giving up the hard-hearted.

This is what the wrath of God is revealed against: “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (Romans 1:18).  Because of this ungodliness and suppression of the truth God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts, to impurity, and dishonoring their bodies, to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. Those things led them to unnatural relations and shameless acts. Sound familiar? These are the very same moral evils that our society no longer call evil but thinks them to be the stuff of holy marriage. Sodom and Gomorrah have nothing on us. The wrath of God is revealed in God giving us up to these things until such time as He delivers us and separates the sheep from the goats.

Repent. Repent of turning a blind eye of such things among your family and society. Repent of thinking it is ok if someone else sins as long as it doesn’t really affect you.  It does affect you, as it affects them. Repent for treating the wrath of God lightly or as not that big of a deal, for it is real, it is revealed in history, in the Word of God, in Christ upon the cross. 

Psalm 6 is a perfect Psalm to consider. It is the first and shortest of the seven penitential Psalms we are considering this Lenten season. Penitential here doesn’t mean wallowing in self-pity and terror, but it means to make a plea for and a confession of Messianic forgiveness and mercy.  These seven psalms all have this in common: they all explicitly ask God for forgiveness of sins.

So here in Psalm 6 David begins with the reality of God’s wrath. This isn’t directed toward others, but David is afraid for himself because of what he has done. He has deserved God’s wrath and he knows it. This is the prayer of a man who feels the weight of his sin, the guilt and shame, the burden. It laments the great suffering of the conscience when one’s faith and hope are tormented by the law and anger of God and driven to despair or misbelief. God’s love is hidden from him.  God’s wrath seems to be all there is, all he knows and experiences. So he prays to be delivered from it: “O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, neither discipline me in Your wrath.”

“Divine wrath is not some sort of irritation; God does not become peeved or annoyed.”[i]  He is not sulking because we hurt His feelings. His wrath is “a deliberate resolve in response to a specific state of the human soul” particularly toward those who are hard of heart, unrepentant, or who have turned their backs on God and refused His grace. That is what David is up against. He knew better but he turned his back on God’s grace. That is why He begs God not to rebuke him in His anger.

We must also pray in this way – not just in Lent but always. We must ask to be delivered from God’s wrath – not as those who didn’t know what they were doing, but as those who have hardened their hearts and planned to repent later.  A love of sin remains within us all. Every deliberate sin hardens our hearts. Sin, especially deliberate sin, leaves us in “a very weakened state. It is felt in our inner frame, our very bones, as it were.” Thus David: “Be gracious to me, O Lord; for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul is also greatly troubled: but You, O Lord – how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of Your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?” (Psalm 6:2–5).

David certainly is not unique in this. In fact, his sin makes perfect sense: lust and greed and pride are well-known by us all. That is why we need to keep on repenting, confessing, and praying, and that is why God in His mercy keeps on speaking in the Scriptures, absolving us through the pastors, and feeding us in the Sacrament of the Altar.

David needs mercy now because death is too late. No one gives thanks in the grave. That, by the way, is how the hard-hearted behave now: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.” The hard-hearted don’t ask God for forgiveness. They also don’t give thanks.  Death is the culmination of sin, the place without thanksgiving, “in the grace who shall give the thanks?” We have suffered a foretaste of that in our own lives. We have been discontent, envious, and hardened our hearts so that our bones ache within us. Like David, we want no more of that. So like David, we pray: “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak.”

Sin and death form the context of this Psalm. They give cause for the lament and plea. We need rescue, deliverance. We are in danger because of the sins of our society and family and church, and because of our own sins. But David also shows us how to pray in hope, how to cling to a promise. He knows the Holy Trinity hears and answers him: “The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer” (Psalm 6:8b-9).

And what has the Lord heard? He has heard those who trust in Him, who have come confession and sorrow over sin, whose tears have stained pillows, whose bones ache with sorrow for their children, for their past, for their failures.  The Lord has heard faith. And the Lord answers.

The Lord is merciful. He pours out His wrath over your sin upon His only begotten Son and He casts the dregs upon Satan’s crushed skull. “The taking away of sin required the shedding of Christ’s blood on the Cross. This fact itself tells us how serious” sin is even as it tells us what we are worth to the Father. The Lord, risen from the dead, comes in peace to you, not to rebuke you, but to wash away the ashes of repentance, to prepare you for Jesus’ resurrection and your own, to restore you from death and the grave of Sheol. 

 


[i] The quotations in this sermon, other than quotations of the Psalm, have been taken directly from Patrick Henry Reardon’s remarks on Psalm 6 in Christ in the Psalms. Even where there aren’t quotes, the argument and ideas are also mainly his from the same section. Patrick Henry Reardon, Christ in the Psalms (Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing, 2000), 11–12. https://cyberstones.org/sermon/thursday-after-ash-wednesday-psalm-6-2016/

Lent 2 2020 Reminiscere - Matthew 15:21-28

Lent 2 Reminiscere 2020

Matthew 15:21-28

March 8, 2020

Zion Lutheran Church + Nampa, ID

In Genesis 32, the patriarch Jacob is about to meet his brother, Esau, who is coming toward him with 400 men. This was frightening to him given that he had stolen Esau’s birthright, but also now that a Man had wrestled with him all night until dawn. That Man was the Son of God. Jacob maintains that He will not let go of this Man until he is blessed by Him.  After the Lord renames Jacob to Israel, meaning one who strives or wrestles with God, Jacob says of this Man, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered” (Gen 32:30). 

            In our Gospel reading we hear of this same struggle which “spiritual Israel” sometimes has to undergo with God and Christ by faith. Not only do we have to struggle against flesh and blood, against the evil world, and the devil, but often Christ hides His face from us, and presents Himself against us as a stranger with whom we have to wrestle. We have an example of this spiritual wrestling match with a Canaanite woman who wrestles with Christ the Lord until she finally obtains a blessing from Him. 

            There are several things that we can learn from her godly example. The first thing is that faith is often tempted through various trails and hardships. Here is a believing woman who comes to the Lord, complains about her need and by faith, asks for help. But she doesn’t receive it immediately.

            Christ still deals with His own in the same way today. He tests and exercises faith, as St. Paul highlights in the Romans 5, “we know that suffering/tribulation produces endurance.” God sends hardships into our lives so that faith shines through endurance and patience. We should regard the crosses that we bear as we follow Jesus as a testing of our faith for the strengthening of our faith. These crosses ought to move us to pray, to call upon Christ for mercy and help the way that this Canaanite woman did. In her prayer, as simple as it is, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon” (Matt 15:22), she trusts in Jesus’ power and authority to heal and His promise, and appeals to His mercy. So we too, in our own prayers, ought to be grounded in the same. 

            The testing of her faith also comes with Jesus’ silence. For as Christ gives her no answer, so it still often happens that God does not help right away. We see this throughout Scripture with Job, David, Jeremiah, Paul, and even in our own lives. Yet, she does not give up, instead, she holds on with prayer. So we too shouldn’t regard God’s silence as refusal, but rather an exercise in faith. If the longing for God’s help and blessing is genuine, then it will not put out by such a thing.

And so Jesus’ encourages us to pray, “Ask, and it will be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened (Matt 7:7). Jesus is saying, if there is a need, pray. If you don’t immediately receive help, then hang on and seek. If it still doesn’t happen, then knock. 

Another thing we can learn from this woman is the way she responds to Jesus when He finally does answer her. He certainly comes across as harsh saying that He was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. But she doesn’t allow it to drive her away from Christ, instead she chases after Him all the more.  

By ethnicity, this Canaanite woman is not a sheep of Israel. That would be presumptuous. She is not one of the children, but she does belong in the house. She doesn’t want to steal the bread out of the mouths of the children. She wants the master’s bread, and that belongs to His pets as well as to His children.  She catches Christ by means of His own words. He compares her to a dog, which she admits and she asks no more than that He let her be like a dog. He was caught. No dog is denied the breadcrumbs under the table. She belongs in the house, not by presumption or privilege, but by grace. Therefore, He takes heed of her and submits to her will, so that she is no longer a dog but becomes a child of Israel. (Luther’s Sermon, 1525). And Jesus marvels and rewards her faith. Her daughter is healed. Let us marvel at her faith as well. And let us marvel even more that the Lord feeds sinners and welcomes them into His family.

Could we give a more profound lesson? God will test you. He will appear to be worse than indifferent to you, in fact, you will be sure He’s just ignoring you. It’s okay. Hold tight to His words and promises.  The truth is always what His Words reveal. Hold them in your heart. Wrestle with Him and refuse to let Him go until He has answered, until He has fed you. And He gives you more than bread for children or scraps for pets. He gives you His risen body and blood in the Sacrament to cure and heal your soul, to send the demons away running, to strengthen and preserve your faith.  Come, take and eat the crumbs from the Bread of Life, the drops of Divine Blood. Be it done for you as you desire.

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