MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Call Upon Me In The Day of Trouble
I recently read a story about a woman who had a falling out with her church and became very bitter about it. For over 20 years she was harboring resentment and filled with loathing. No one wanted to be around her, and she was fine with that. But then one day, out of the blue, she came back to church. And she came again the next week, and the week after that. After four or five weeks of coming to worship services again, she walked up to the pastor with a smile on her face. She was literally beaming when she said to him, “This Christianity stuff really works!”
This past Sunday, Cheryl and I went to a local restaurant for lunch. We do that most Sundays. We have the habit of paying attention to our server’s name, and after placing our order, we will say, “We are going to ask God to bless our meal and would like to pray for you, too. Is there anything you would like us to pray about.” But this Sunday, we didn’t get that question in before she walked away. We prayed for her anyway. When she came back, I mentioned to her that we had asked God to bless our meal and had prayed for her, too. Even though she was wearing a mask, you could see her face light up. She said, “Oh, I love Jesus so much. He has delivered me and I want to tell everyone about Him.” She shared how Jesus had brought her out of a life of addiction and bad choices and how much better her life is now. She didn’t use the same words, but she was also saying, “This Christianity stuff really works.”
Psalm 50:15 “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will honor me.”
What problem are you facing these days? What difficulty are you confronting? There are plenty that we all have in common, and each of us still have our individual challenges. Jesus wants to help you overcome them all. He wants you to have His power to face your troubles. He wants you to know His peace. “Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will honor me.”
So how do you and I access that awesome power of God in our lives? He makes it available through some pretty ordinary things: Word, water, bread and wine. These are His means of grace, the ways that He offers and gives us the forgiveness Jesus earned for us on the cross.
He tells us about it in the written Word, and the Spirit of God leads us to believe its truth. Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
When the Word is joined with water, God’s power is at work to wash away sins and join you to what Jesus did on your behalf. Romans 6:4-5 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
Holy Communion is a way to remember what Jesus did for you and share in His payment for your sins as you receive the things Jesus used to make that payment: Matthew 26:26-28 Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
These means connect us to the power supply. This is how our God delivers us still today. That is why we should strive to honor him.
Michael Mattil is the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Denison. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Herald Democrat.