Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever – Hebrews 13:8
That is our theme verse for our Vacation Bible School this year under the heading: SonWest Roundup: A Rip Roaring Good Time with Jesus. Vacation Bible School will be held June 3-7, from 8:30AM-11:30AM.
Hardly a week goes by when someone does not come up to me and describe the way things used to be; whether in the congregation or in the community. Every now and then, I even see pictures of either the town, or the general area; and as many of you well know: what we see today is a far cry from what was here 50-100 years ago.
Things change, sometimes for the better; I have yet to hear anyone complain about tractors having air-conditioning, or about not having to go over to the school early on a cold winter morning to start the fire, or about men and women sitting together in church. But things do not always change for the better; computers hinder personal communication; the car helps us get to places further away, but it also causes us to overlook what is in front of us; and while the church is still the center of the lives of many, it is slowly being pushed aside as not everyone makes the same confession as we do.
What would your grandparents or great-grandparents think of the world that you live in today? What would you think if you lived in theirs?
Chances are the neither of you would be very comfortable.
But you would find one thing to be quite similar; in fact you would not find a single difference at all between what you do today, and what they did beck then.
You would find that Jesus Christ is the same no matter what the day and age is. The Jesus who is pointed to in the Old Testament, who lives and dies and rises and is proclaimed throughout the New Testament, who you confess today, is the same. Jesus does not change as the culture demands, nor does He adjust to meet a different world view. Jesus Christ never changes.
The Word that you hear on Sunday morning is the same Word that your grandparents would have heard. That absolution that you receive for the forgiveness of your sins, is the same absolution that your great-grandparents received for the forgiveness of their sins. The faith that you confess in the creeds, is the same faith that has been confessed for centuries. The body and blood that you receive as a foretaste of the feast to come, is the same body and blood that those who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith, now receive as they feast in Paradise.
Things may look different; you may come to church in a car, whereas your great-grandparents came on a horse; you may hear the sermon in English, whereas others heard it in German; you may sit on padded pews, whereas others sat on wooden folding chairs; but the good news that you hear, that Jesus Christ died and rose so that you might have the forgiveness of sins is the same. And it rings just as joyfully in your ears, as it did in theirs.
Please pray for our Vacation Bible School, both for those who come and for those who will help, that the good news of Jesus Christ may be proclaimed to another generation.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt