Our Faith-Borne Certainty of Hope
Crisscrossing the world’s mission fields, what do you see? Our church’s beloved missionaries — I count you among them — experience and provide witness of humanity’s joys and hardships, sorrows and triumphs. But that’s not all. They “sing of Christ, whose birth made known the kindness of the Lord … the fullness of His deity, the icon of His grace” (Lutheran Service Book 362:1). There are tears and laughter. Apprehension against courage. Birth — and death. Shocking displays of greed and an embarrassment of earthly riches, severe famines and vast spiritual wastelands. No shortage of crosses or trials. No one righteous, but for the righteousness of the Son of God.
But never too remote, wherever the Church may be found, there remains a faith-borne certainty of hope and a watchful anticipation of something new: a resurrection. “Christ to the people, gift of the future now flowing to me. Jesus is risen and we shall arise: Give God the glory! Alleluia!” (LSB 474:3).
Peer into the pages that follow. Lean in. What, really, do you see? Rebellion. The prophets. The city. The temple. A hill, a tree, a Lamb. The women weeping, disciples abandoning, an apostle running. The stone, rolled away. Jesus, here and now! “Peace be with you” (John 20:26). And there is peace — in and through this crucified One who has been raised from the dead.
Forgive us, Lord Jesus Christ, of all our many sins, with Your Word that heals, sustains and strengthens unto a forever-ed life with you in paradise;
Wash us, Lord Jesus Christ, for purification from the world’s alluring wickedness and for rescue from certain death, with the water that cleanses only at Your powerful command; and
Feed us, Lord Jesus Christ, from the fire of Your sacred, holy cross and tabled fellowship through emptied tomb, with suffered body given and sacred blood shed — for this is the medicine of immortality. Amen.
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod