It’s so easy in life to only think about one’s self.  Consider your prayer life.  Are your petitions mostly in reference to yours or others’ physical needs?  Most people admit their prayers are 90% physical and 10% spiritual.  Perhaps our prayers sound something like this: “A young man was trying to show how much he was focused on his girlfriend.  He wrote, ‘Darling, for you I would climb the highest mountain, swim the widest stream, cross the burning desert, my dearest, I would be willing to die at the stake for you.’  After a paragraph or two more of these superlatives he wrote, ‘I will see you on Saturday; if it doesn’t rain.’”  How easy it is to let a rainy day to cloud our minds to what is truly most important.

Next Sunday four of our youth will speak the confirmation vows; “Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even to death?  Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?”

Statistics say 80% of those confirmed in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, by the time they graduate from high school, will no longer go to church.  Eventually 60 % of them will become unchurched.  Studies show that parents today are following the same pattern of our confirmands.  “If it doesn’t rain I’ll make sure I live according to the Word of God and remain true to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, even to death.”  We have way too many rainy days these days.

It’s clear to me that whatever effort we put into handling these vows, our effort does not work. The Church Father, St. Augustine said, “Proud man would have died had not a lowly God found him.” 

“Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  Christ’s death on the cross stands as a constant reminder of what our sin, our inward focus, our failures, what our unfaithfulness is capable of doing to us.

Please pray for Aria, Constansa, Malin, and Gavin.  Pray for their spiritual well-being.

…Pastor Bill