Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mary's Last Words

"His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever He tells you'" (John 2:5).

These are the final words of Mary in the Holy Gospel.  After this we do not hear from her again.  How significant!  Her last words are imperative: "Do whatever He tells you."  We are left with no choice.

Lutherans have deep reasons for not praying to the saints.  But what about Mary, the blessed mother of our Lord?  I will answer that question from my heart.

I will honor her, hold her in much love and esteem, and join Luther in calling her "the noblest, holiest mother," "the greatest of women in heaven and on earth," and "the princess of the whole human race."  And it saddens me when people remember her only at Christmas.

But, in line with her own command, I do not pray to her.  When it comes to prayer, I must do whatever He tells me.  And He tells me to pray to Him (John 14:13-14) and through Him to the Father (John 16:23-24).

Later, Mary's crucified and risen Son appeared to Paul, and Paul writes, "There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:5-6).  He is "middleman" because He touches the Father with His divinity, and us with His humanity.  And because His cross is the bridge, over sin, to heaven.

Let us truly honor Mary by remembering her last words, both when it comes to prayer - and everything else.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

An Act of Pure Goodness

"Lamb of God, pure and holy" (John 1:29 and hymn).

The Sacrament of Holy Communion goes by such other names as the Lord's Supper, the Lord's Table, the Breaking of Bread, and the Eucharist.

But when the President rightly called the shooting in Las Vegas "an act of pure evil," I added another name for Holy Communion: an act of pure Goodness.

an act of pure Grace
an act of pure Forgiveness
an act of pure Life
an act of pure Salvation
an act of pure Hope
an act of pure Comfort
an act of pure Strength
an act of pure Endurance
an act of pure Courage
an act of pure God
an act of pure Christ
an act of pure Holy Spirit
an act of pure Love

Love toward us.  Love toward each other.  Love toward all.

What we need in the face of an act of pure evil is an act of pure Goodness.  And that, in the Sacrament, is what we have.