Pastor's Blog

June 2019

Moving Past Babel

When your home has been destroyed and the city lay in ruins, starting over doesn’t happen so easily. Imagine a French family living in one of the many towns utterly destroyed by the allied bombings of World War II. How do you move on when every building on the street has been bombed out, shattered bricks spilling out onto the roads, rooms exposed on three sides because their walls were blown apart? Is it even feasible or compassionate to suggest starting over at that point? Or think of the people in Iraq who desire to move past the tribal wars and historical blood feuds that have destroyed their homes for years. It’s hard to move past all of that and start over.

Moving away from the desolation of life to something better can seem like a monumental task. When we have been torn up by sin, when the foundation of our life has been blown apart by guilt and the consequences of our sin, it seems unimaginable to move away from all that pain. Each year we ask young men and women to pledge before God and Church that, what? That they will run away at the first sign of difficulty? That they will run for cover when someone challenges their faith? No, they pledge that they would rather die than give up their faith. 1 Timothy 6:12 puts it this way, “Fight the good fight of faith.”

It is a fight. Being a child of God is a fight. So how do we move on from the rubble of our sin? How do we carry the light of God’s promise into the darkness of this world? We take God’s word, we take his promises, and we move on.

As humanity on the dawn of its second age moved away from their rebellion at the Tower of Babel, so we move away from our own “babels.” We move away with the LORD’s forgiving presence leaving behind our sinful pride. And as we move away from that we head into our futures with the LORD’s faithfulness.

Genesis 11:8, "So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city."



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Help Me Help the World

Perhaps you remember the day of your confirmation: whether you were confirmed as a youngster or as an adult, I hope it was a happy day. And it should be because confirmation is a celebration of God’s word. He brought you to faith. He keeps you in the faith. And he will bring you to himself in heaven.

So now what? Sometimes confirmation can seem like such a big deal that we put all this emphasis on it without thinking about the day after confirmation, or the life after confirmation. Confirmation means strengthening—strengthening for a life of showing your faith. Because whether you are aware of it or not, there is a world out there that hurts. It hurts because it’s lost in sin. And you and I, who have been confirmed or those who will be confirmed, have the answer for that world.

The problem is sharing that answer with the world is painful. There was a believer from the book of Acts named Stephen who understood how painful it was to share Christ in the world. When you look at his story, you might think, “What terrible experience!” But in the midst of all the bad things that happened to him, Christ was right there to strengthen him. And just like then, Christ knows that we need his help if we’re going to be any help in this world. Jesus helps us help a hurting world: Jesus encourages us, and Jesus gives us love to share. 

Acts 7:54-60, "When [the Pharisees] heard these things (from Stephen's sermon), they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 He said, “Look, I see heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 But they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and rushed at him with one purpose in mind. 58 They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After he said this, he fell asleep.



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he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. ~ TITUS 3:5