Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ .
In our catechism class , we talk a lot about the first article of the Apostles' Creed : "I believe in God the Father Almighty , Maker of heaven and earth. "
What does this mean? I believe God created me and all creatures , as the Catechism says . How do we know this? In two ways. First, by our own reason. What ? We do not confess that by our own reason and our own strength we cannot know or love God ? Sure. We cannot know who or what is God in His entirety and , therefore, we cannot love what we can not know .
However, by our own reason , that God has given us , according to the Catechism , we can see there is order in the universe. The universe is vast , diverse and complex . But everything is in balance. We talk about natural laws , for example the law of conservation of matter and energy , which says the conversion of one type of matter into another is always accompanied by the conversion of one form of energy into another . All science is based on principles such as this. We can predict the outcome of an experiment because the behavior of natural phenomena do not deviate from the natural order .
The order among the vastness , diversity and complexity of nature points to intelligent design, and intelligent design to a designer. This is something human reason can understand . But today many people deny the evidence of intelligent design, or the natural order in the universe. They say the origin of everything is completely by chance , the collision between one particle with another , repeated over millions of years. On the other hand there are scientists who say millions of years are not enough to explain the development of the universe.
So why do many insist that everything happened by chance? By another law that human reason can understand, the moral law, which is the Law of God written on our hearts. Under this law, we are condemned by a just God. Because the observation of nature and the law written in our hearts tells us God is just, but it tells us nothing of the love and mercy of God.
Therefore, some people will not believe in God , because they can only know God as an angry Judge .
By our own reason , we can discern God's law in part, but not perfectly. We have the revelation of the full moral law in Scripture . When there is something that the general public does not know , and it is published in a newspaper or magazine , we say that the secret is revealed. This is revelation. In Scripture the whole law is revealed and more . Also news of the mercy of God , that no one would know if God had not spoken to the world through his prophets and apostles , and , above all , through his only begotten Son , Jesus Christ.
In our text for today, we have an example of the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ. " And when he came near the gate of the city , behold a dead man was being carried out , the only son of his mother, who was a widow : and much people was with her city . And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said: Do not cry . "
This was a very sad funeral , because the dead man was an only child, and his mother was a widow . Both husband and son had died: her position deserved sympathy which she was given by her neighbors , a great multitude of those who went with her to the grave. But she was still a desolate and lonely woman , she had no one from whom she could expect comfort in the years ahead.
Our Lord in his mercy to the deceased said, "Young man , I say unto thee , arise. " Then he that was dead sat up , and began to speak . And he delivered him to his mother. Now , some people may say , if He has the power, why not resurrect all the dead or heal all the sick ?
In our reading of the Old Testament (Job 5.17-26 ) , we have an answer to this question . "Behold , happy is the man whom God corrects : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty . Because he is the one that maketh sore , and bindeth up : He wounds, and His hands make whole . He shall deliver thee from six troubles , and in seven no evil shall touch you . In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. The scourge of the tongue will be covered ; Neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it comes. "
It is true , sometimes God allows adversity in the lives of the faithful to teach us something . We can trust that He shall deliver us from six troubles , and in seven no evil shall touch us.
However, we have a revelation of God's mercy much more extensive in the New Testament , especially in our Epistle for today ( Ephesians 3;13-21 ) : " Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead , and Christ will shine . " If this call works the knowledge of sin , then Christ will give knowledge of salvation. The sinner , having emerged from the dream of sin and death , is surrounded and flooded with the light of Christ , and therefore becomes blessed and happy in this light .
This is the source of peace and joy for us at any stage of life. We do not mind adversity , illness, or have the fear of death. Because Christ is risen and has promised to resurrect us all, not just for a while as the son of the widow of Nain , and Lazarus , brother of Mary and Martha of Bethany . Christ won for us on the cross, the promise of eternal life . This is true human reason can not comprehend , the final revelation of God's mercy .
The peace that passes all understanding be with each of you forever. Amen .
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