Carrying Joy in a Grim World.
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“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
As we were walking through the streets surrounded by the concrete high rises of downtown Chicago, I was stunned to see … tulips. Bravely reaching for the sunlight in the shadows of the tall buildings, there were beautiful, vibrant flowers cheering my day.
That is what God has ordained you and me to be, chosen people carrying joy and beauty into a dark, grim world. Not that you and I are such beautiful people, but you and I, clay jars that we are, are carrying the greatest treasure, the most joyful message of all time. In the midst of a sinful world, the Lord Jesus Christ has died to remove my sin and has risen to give me eternal life. This is the message, the joy, the peace that this world desperately needs.
Although you and I are surrounded by sin and death, we do not give up hope. We see with the eyes of faith that God has redeemed His people, and there is laid up for us an eternal glory that only shines dimly in this present darkness. We, like the tulips, seem strangely out of place to many around us. “What is there to be so happy about?”, some would snarl,but if you know the Savior, there is joy in the midst of suffering, and light in the midst of darkness. We know “that we are just passing through, heaven is our home!”
Strangers in this world? Perhaps, but also bearers of incredible joy and peace to all who would put their trust in Jesus, the Lord of life… Amen.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO