The Christian constantly faces two opposite, but deadly, dangers. Read the following from Martin Luther:

“Without the Holy Spirit hearts are either hardened in sins or they despair. But both are contrary to the will of God. By the Holy Spirit the godly navigate between the satanic Scylla and Charybdis [see explanation below, if needed] and cast themselves upon the superabundant and infinite mercy of God. They confess their sins, but at the same time they also confess the immeasurable mercy of God.” (What Luther Says, p. 662)

[Scylla and Charybdis were sea monster in Greek mythology. Scylla was a six-headed monster on a rocky cliff and Charybdis spit out water that created a giant whirlpool. They were located so close to each other that to avoid one meant getting too close to the other. The myth is probably the origin of the English phrase “between a rock and a hard place.”]

Luther used Scylla and Charybdis to picture the two deadly temptations we constantly face: hardened heart or despair — God doesn’t want either of those attitudes in us.

Pride causes hearts to become hardened. I do my best. I’m better than most people. I go to church or went to a Lutheran grade school and/or high school. Pick the reason, the heart that is proud is looking at itself, not at Jesus!

Despair overcomes hearts that focus on their failures, sins, and troubles. With this focus, a person feels unworthy and views their situation as hopeless. In the end, this heart is not looking at Jesus either.

Look at Jesus and see God’s grace for you. Do not look at Jesus so you can ignore and indulge your sins. Confess your sins; wrestle against them as you grow into Christ. But never stop looking at Jesus as your source of hope and strength. In him you will always find forgiveness. In him, you are righteous before God. Let this be your comfort and strength as you daily focus your faith on his love for you.

Lamentations 3:22–24 "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."


Pastor Aufdemberge

Pastor Kneser

Pastor Wempner

Pastor Zarling