St. Peter Lutheran Church
2929 F.M 972 (at F.M. 1105)
Walburg, Texas 78626
Office: (512) 863-
Worship Services -
Holy Communion -
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
Jan. 29, 2018
St. Peter Lutheran Church at Walburg, Texas
The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened and the stars withdraw their shining. The Lord utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it?
My best friend told me about the unexpected earthquake that hit where he is teaching English in Indonesia. Needless to say, earthquakes are difficult enough for anyone, but even more terrifying for people who may still have memories of a similar quake and tsunami that left so many people dead in its wake.
The odd thing is how easy it is to forget or return to a new normal. Often times the fear of many of our disasters is worse than the disaster itself. Just last year Ebola and ISIS both were defeated; two great terrors that shuffled off the mortal coil without even so much as a whimper. So many things in life demand our ultimate fear, but after all is said and done disappear as well. In truth, Christians know there is only One thing that we have to fear and Joel lays out the awesome power.
Yet when Joel's great conqueror does appear, we are amazed at Him. There is no swagger, no arrogance, not even any pomp. He informs us that He is "gentle and humble in heart, and we will find rest for our souls." (Matthew 11:29b, NIV) Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 10:1 that Jesus is mild and gentle.
Is this not the most surprising thing? We expected a warrior and raw power, instead we find this shepherd and carpenter, rabbi and healer. Human beings are too often convinced that what is fearful is what is most powerful. We bow down to the raw chaotic powers of a fallen world and when the Creator comes to us, we think we can easily ignore his teachings. We are not so different from those who encountered Jesus all those years ago in the Promised Land. We still bow out from putting God first by saying things like, "If Jesus only knew how difficult I had it," or "Well, Jesus just doesn't understand how things are done around here."
Perhaps it is because we don't understand how God's wrath works that we make such silly mistakes. The wrath of Joel is focused upon sin and a fallen world. When we side with fear of the world's great and fleeting calamities over the eternal and omnipotent wrath of God; the problem isn't with God's power, but our short-
In the end, God didn't send his son to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). Joel's wrath wasn't towards us; but to oppressors of sin and death, a world winding down and turned in on itself. We may be afraid of sin and death, tsunamis and hurricanes, ISIS and ebola; but those things know that when God declares it is finished, the real power will be revealed. And this has already happened, on a hill outside of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. This Ash Wednesday we need not live in fear, because the great Restorer of the universe has declared His work to be finished and only asks that you proclaim that with your lives.
The Source of Fear