Life Together in the Crucified Christ
The church — the Bride of Christ, the sum total of the baptized faithful — is at her pure finest when she simply lets the “facts of life” shine forth with the radiance of the Son of God. He lives, all glory to His name. “O death, where is your sting? … But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:55b, 57).
This is, in fact, life under God’s exquisite plan: that He does not unleash divine vengeance upon you for your sin, but rather puts forward — to you and the entire world — unconditional forgiveness and sure salvation from unthinkably horrendous defeat. This is eternal life; it bears no punishment or penalty, because God has already suffered your punishment and paid your penalty in Christ. By declaring sinners righteous in the shed blood of His Son, God defines and delivers His life for the world. He has made His life yours and made you His. And now, He has sent His church into the world to proclaim this life, to give away the transformative power of His life to others. Going, making disciples for life, baptizing and teaching.
Carried forward by His Word and Sacraments into God’s life of mercy and grace, there is a joyful gratitude, a deep humility and a confident hope that looks far beyond the crushing weight of sin. You may notice this in the slice of genuine life that’s captured in the following stories. This is your life too — our life together in the incarnate, crucified and risen Christ. It’s a life that willingly bears the sorrows and burdens and trials of the neighbor — not out of an obligation of guilt, but from the freedom that comes only by God’s declaration of His life upon you.
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod