Rev. James NS Kollie-Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Cotton Tree, Liberia
Support Needed for Senate Bill on Church Health Plans
A couple of years ago Pastor Ron Hobbie (St. John/Trinity – Sparta Twp. / Havelock Twp.) sent me a tautology with a truth to consider: “If we don’t change directions, we’ll end up where we are going.”
The way we go in life is most important. Travelers look for the best way to go. In business, some go one way; others go another. Proof of the best way comes at the end.
Before God there are only two ways to go in life: without Him (the evil way) or with Him (the way of the Cross…the Easter way). Here, too, proof of the best way comes at the end. The way of the wicked appears attractive and glorious but ends in death. The way of the Cross…the Easter way is narrow and rugged but ends in life.
On our own we cannot tell the best way to go. As we observe life, things appear skewed. The wicked prosper and believers suffer. All this seems like a riddle until we enter God’s house. Jonah said: “You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all Your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from Your sight; yet I will look again upon Your holy temple’” (Jonah 2:3, 4). In His holy temple God unscrambles the riddle of life. There He announces the glorious end of all who go the way of the Cross…the Easter way.
Living the way of the Cross…the Easter way means that we died with Christ on Calvary and rose with Him on Easter (Romans 6:3-5). But our new life in Christ is under wraps at present. The Apostle Paul reminds us that it is important to live with our hearts set on things above because “our life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:12). In Christ the end of the way of the Cross…the Easter way is in heaven with Him, victorious over death and all life’s troubles.
Asaph, like Jonah, came to appreciate God’s ways and admitted: “This is what the wicked are like – always carefree, they increase in wealth…. All day long I have been stricken; I have been punished every morning…. When I tried to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny” (Psalm 73:12, 14, 16, and 17).
Living the way of the Cross…the Easter way can only be understood in God’s holy temple. There God reveals His extraordinary mercy to all who deserve death for wanting to go their own way. There God tells us of the empty tomb assuring us that our graves will be empty too. To live the way of the Cross…the Easter way is to live the life of faith in the crucified and resurrected Lord no matter what the difficulties.
What a blessing we have to receive and share the mysteries of God and tell of Him who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; the One who tells us: “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living One. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17-18).
“And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever!”
(LSB 709, vs. 6)
A blessed and joyous Holy Week and Easter to you!
President Don Fondow