January 6, 2014
Views from church on December 22 with ice reflecting in the trees.
December 7, 2013
Excerpt from Latest Newsletter
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
There is an idiom that most of us have come to understand, he "can't see the forest for the trees!", meaning that he is so involved with the details of a situation that he loses sight of the larger issue. For many people Easter is a one-day-of-the-year event, for which they have become so focused upon the details, that they lose sight of the larger issue. For most, the only remnants of Easter are the shopping carts of unsold items at the store entrance with slashed prices for a quick sale.
As Christians, there is a period in the Church calendar, where in the Gospel readings we find the disciples are still trying to figure out their lives and what to do next. They are still trying to “see the forest for the Tree!” Luke, and more particularly John offer the most detailed “snapshot” of this time, with details of Jesus’ visits with the disciples. Up to a point the disciples are at a loss for what they will do. Simon Peter on one occasion, announces, “I am going fishing.” To which Thomas (called the Twin), Nathaniel of Cana and Galilee, (James and John), the sons of Zebedee, and two others said to him, “We will go with you” (John 21:2-3). It certainly made sense. They didn’t know what to do with themselves otherwise, so they would go back to a way of life they knew so well…their livelihoods before they had met Jesus.
Little would they know that they would encounter Jesus, much as an original encounter. It would serve as a reminder of what Jesus had originally called them to do, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, Luke 5:1-11).
Throughout the time they have followed Jesus in His ministry, the disciples found it difficult to understand why the Son of Man is to be delivered to the Gentiles, to be killed, and on the third day, rise again (Luke 18:31-34). Now that this has taken place, like good Lutherans, they ask the question, “What does this mean?”
Having appeared to the disciples during the forty days following His resurrection, Jesus ordered them not to leave Jerusalem; to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. There the disciples would devote themselves to prayer and have opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ ministry, looking forward to carrying out the Great Commission, with direction by the Holy Spirit. By direction of the Holy Spirit, they can now see the forest by way of the Tree! As Christians, directed by the Holy Spirit, let us continue to share the message by way of the Gospel that others may see the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In His grace,