February 11, 2015
Dear Members and Friends of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church,
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4 ESV
Saint Paul wrote the above words to his fellow pastor Timothy. They were words of warning. Paul wrote about a time when people would close their ears to the Word of God. Instead, Paul said, people would listen to anyone and everyone who would tell them what suited their own thoughts and their own preferred lifestyles. Paul was not just warning about people outside the church but he was warning members of the church who would be tempted to listen to lies and myths
In a very real way, we are living in the time about which Paul warned Timothy. In our county church membership and attendance is down. Fewer and fewer people are coming to the Lord’s house to hear His word of truth proclaimed. More and more people are listening to the culture for guidance and what they want to hear as their own personal “truth.”
For some, they do not want to hear the Law proclaimed. They claim it is out-of-date, not relevant. In a way, this is nothing new. We do not like to hear that we are sinners. So if the culture starts telling us things have changed our itching ears start to listen.
If we pay no attention to the Law then the Gospel has no meaning for us. What difference does it make if Jesus died for sinners if we hear and believe that sin is obsolete? The Gospel is Good News only if we close our ears to the voices that say, “Do your own thing.”
On Ash Wednesday, February 18, we will begin the Season of Lent. It is a time to “repent.” It is a time to open our ears to the Word of God that convicts us as sinners but then tells us about God’s grace and mercy toward sinners. The Season of Lent points us toward the sacrifice that God made for us – “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans. 5:8
God’s word is truth. The gods of this world offer lies and myths, but our God gives forgiveness, life and salvation. The voices of this world offer confusion and misery, but the Word of God gives peace and joy. The truth is without the Good News of Jesus Christ as our savior we are lost and condemned. Jesus Christ came to seek and save the lost and so he has. Let this truth strengthen your faith and comfort you each day.
As always, I ask that you keep Gloria Dei in your prayers and also that you pray for me as I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers. The blessing of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit be with you.
Your servant in Christ,