Fiddling While Rome Learns
Grace, mercy, and peace are yours from God our father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
In a world gone crazy with pandemics and toilet paper shortages, the canceling of every kind of gathering and event imaginable, and the kicker – the real kicker here – the closing of DisneyWorld, DisneyLand, and all things Disney, as horrible as that is (and all these closings and such, as bad as that is for the folks who count on these places and events to make a living), we think to ourselves: self, things must really be bad. Disney, whose only concern is overcharging its customers and making more money than anybody can imagine, has closed in light of this pandemic. Like many, we overreact. These things don’t make sense. We worry. We fear. In many ways we feel like strangers in our home towns. We have to fight over parking places and wrestle for hand sanitizer and pizza rolls.
Repent of your worry. Repent of your doubting God and his love and care for you. Repent! You are not strangers. You who were once far off, are now brought near. You have been adopted.
You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-20)
We must not fear these uncertain times. We are a people of God, a people of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Times like these should not surprise us. Earlier in the school year, we heard reading after reading, sermon after sermon about the end times, this should not surprise us!
Well, we have a news flash for those news channels that bring you news flashes: Your future is not uncertain. You have the promise of forgiveness of sins, and if you have the forgiveness of sins, you have life and eternal salvation. So do not fear; rejoice! There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ.
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
May God grant us faithful strength and courage; the same faithful strength and courage that He granted to countless generations before us. Our Lord forgives and strengthens us with His cornerstone Who is Christ Jesus and His Word and His Sacraments. His Word of forgiveness, His washing of forgiveness, and His meal of forgiveness: these are all Christ for you. In times of peace and calm, in times of chaos and uncertainty, the unchanging love of Jesus Christ is for you. The world may flutter about, worried about this or that. But we come to the Lord’s house. We listen to his word. We dine on his body and blood. We pray, we sing hymns, and we live in the sure and certain reality of the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Thanks be to God!