Sunday, December 27, 2009

C, Christmas 1 - Luke 2:41-52 Colossians 3:12-17 "Mary's Treasure"

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Mary treasured all these things in her heart. This is a saying we hear often in the Gospel according to Luke. Mary kept and pondered all that happened in the core of her being! She remembered what happened and meditated on the events of Jesus' life.
Thanks to Mary we have Luke's Gospel account. In his account we find the most extensive recollection of Jesus' birth narrative. It is most likely that Luke, the gentile physician and friend of Saint Paul, recorded the events of Jesus' birth, life, and death personally from Mary. This is why in the Gospel of Luke we find this personal reference to Mary pondering all these happenings in her heart.
We might understand why a mother might ponder the actions of her child. Yet while she treasured the events, she still didn't understand why Jesus remained in the temple in Jerusalem and did not travel home with them. Nor did she understand why he said he said, "I had to be in my Father's house?"
Nevertheless, Mary pondered all that had happened before her. She remembered, the spectacular way in which she conceived Jesus by the power of God's Word and the Holy Spirit announced through Gabriel, the archangel.
Mary mused over her visit to Elizabeth, her relative, very pregnant with John the Baptist who jumped for joy at her arrival carrying the Christ child. She would have wondered about the awkward trip on the donkey to Bethlehem and the hassle of giving birth in an environment not really fit for a baby in which to be born. And she contemplated the visit of the shepherds and their excitement over finding this baby Jesus lying in the manger.
In the Lutheran Church, at times other then Christmas, Mary tends to get shunned in fear we might elevate her to the point were we worship and deify her to the same level as Jesus Christ. However, Mary is a person to whom we can look as a model of what it is to ponder, to treasure, and to honour Jesus Christ.
Mary not only bore the Son of God, but Luke uses her recollection and treasuring as the basis of his Gospel birth narrative. And similarly we can use Luke's testimony, to gain an understanding from the mother of Christ, of what it is to be one who looks out of ourselves to Christ — pondering, treasuring, contemplating, and musing over he who once was concealed in Mary's womb, but now who is hidden by faith in all who believe in him for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
Unfortunately though, Christmas for our society today has become one of self-centred contemplation. The gifts we receive don't regularly encourage us to look out of ourselves at all, let alone to worship and honour Christ. Rather our earthly gifts will us to look towards the glorification of ourselves.
From a very early age children see Christmas as a "what am I going to get" exercise. Yes, we give, but truth be known, getting gives all of us at least just a little bit more of a sense of warmth. Or, when we give great to someone and they return the giving with a lesser gift, there is a part inside of us that remembers the inequality.
Mary too could have bore a grudge against God the Father, her situation, her twelve year old Son staying behind in Jerusalem, and humanity, at her Son's death on the cross, and ascension into heaven after his resurrection. She could have cried out as the victim! Used by God; losing the company of her Son at the age of thirty three!
Perhaps she did in the early days just after his crucifixion! But we're not to know as the Scriptures report little of her emotion and thoughts after his death. What we do know is while Jesus was alive and conducting his ministry in the lead up to his crucifixion, his family thought he was out of his mind and sought to take charge of him. However, in time Mary and her family, look to her son and their brother, as the Son of God from eternity. They worked and served the church, privileged to be such a special part of God's plan of salvation for humanity.
When Jesus was approached and told his mother and brothers had come to see him, he responded, "Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother!" (Mark 3: 34-35) "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's Word and put it into practice." (Luke 8:21)
We like Mary and her family should also be growing in the love of God too. As God continually reveals himself to us, as a God of forgiveness. Despite the nature of our sinful being, we, his brothers and sisters, can treasure, ponder, contemplate, and meditate on just how much he does for us. Especially as he sends the Holy Spirit to you and opens the eye of faith in your heart so you see, the holy Child of God, and, the Son of Mary, dwells in you in all his glory.
The gifts we received or the ones we thought we should have received. The ones which lead us to place ourselves at the centre, despite their inability to deliver into eternal life, because they are doomed to deterioration! They can be put aside in favour of a gift that we can worship and honour. And this gift will give us lasting peace and good will greater than the peace and goodwill we are supposed to find in the chaotic commercial lead up and Boxing Day sales of Christmas.
This gift doesn't deem that we do anything to give us an emotional lift, or a sense of goodness or peace! Rather this gift encourages us to rest and trust in Christ, by trusting and remaining, or just being, in he who forgives and feeds us faith. Jesus can give you the gift of serving others with forgiveness and love, while still being able to focus solely on him and give him the glory for the work he does in and through you!
And in the spirit that Mary treasured Jesus in her heart, privileged to be a part of God's redemption of humanity, you too are encouraged by Paul in his letter to the Colossians to meditate and muse over Jesus Christ as he uses you also to reflect his light on those in our world who still live in darkness. As he says…
Since… you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, and not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Amen (Colossians 3:1-3, 12-17)

C, Christmas Day - Luke 2:8-20 "You Can't Hit an Angel with a Stick"

Text: Luke 2:8-20

…[T]here were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests."

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


You can't beat a shepherd with a stick! None of us here would be able to strong arm a shepherd and steal his sheep. Rather if we tried to overrun the shepherd and flog his sheep we would end up on the wrong end of the stick. We would be struck with the shepherd's staff. We would feel the sting of his rod on our backs; the shepherd's staff would bear down heavy on our shoulders, and we would have to flea from him and his flock in fear.

Shepherds are masters at caring for their sheep. Looking after sheep in the daytime is one thing — watching their sheep feed on pastures, making sure they don't stray too far. But at night as the sheep rest, the pressure to keep sheep safe rises to a whole new level. For in the cloak of darkness lurk all sorts of menaces just waiting to make a meal out of a sheep. Often you would find not just one shepherd looking after the flock but a number of shepherds watching the sheep every hour of the day; a family of shepherds perhaps. So while one watched the others slept and when alerted they would all jump up, take their staffs, and drive off the attacker.

It would have been just a regular night outside Bethlehem. The shepherds were watching over their flocks at night. They were on the lookout for lions, wild dogs, or wolves, and thieves seeking a quick catch before disappearing into the darkness. And if one of these attackers had stepped out of the darkness, there would have been a commotion, as the shepherds would have banded together and scared off the foe from the flock.

But this night outside Bethlehem was no ordinary night. In fact the night became as bright as day as an angel of the Lord appeared and the glory of the Lord shone all around. Now the shepherds knew what was transpiring was not the normal. They knew they couldn't beat off an angel of the Lord with a staff or sticks, and the fearless shepherds shook with terror.

But this angel was not about to strike the shepherds and scatter their sheep. No! He came with good news. And for folk like the shepherds, the news he brought was truly life saving news. He said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:10-12)

This was good news for the shaking shepherds. As rugged as these men were, they had no access to God because of their lifestyle. Being shepherds brought them into contact with ritually unclean situations and animals, and having to watch over their sheep twenty-four hours a day, meant no time to go and make the appropriate sacrifices to the Lord at the temple at Jerusalem. So the shepherds lived as outcasts, unclean and unable to have an audience with God in the temple. It's no wonder that these men shook with fear. Not only was this an extraordinary event, but the holiness of God shone upon these men who knew they were not fit to stand in the holy presence of God.

However the angel's call to have no fear was well founded. He told them to have no fear because the Saviour born is "for you", and this sign is "for you", that you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And with that the shepherds were privileged to be the first people on earth to hear the song of heaven, Glory to God in the highest, only ever heard in the presence of God; heard now because God was Immanuel, "God with us", lying in a manger wrapped in cloths —for us —for you!

It must have been a great show seeing the hosts of heaven light up the night sky and even greater to hear that the Saviour was born for them, unclean shepherds. So much so these shepherds left their sheep — now that's just not done — and they said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." And off they went and found everything as the angel had told them.

The irony in all of this is that these men gained access to God, through an extraordinary event; these men leaned over a manger and saw the child, where usually they would have tipped food into similar mangers to feed their sheep when no fodder was to be found. What was extraordinary for them was for God too, for God had never lowered himself to such a point that he was restricted to one place in time — as a baby lying in a manger.

We should never let the enormity of this event slip past us. God came into darkness and shone his glory. God came to earth for us, for you, for me, and he continues to shine his glory on us. Although now it's masked by faith in his Word, so that only those who hear and trust his Word see his glory, and, like the shepherds, have access to a holy God in these dark times.

The irony doesn't stop their either. The child, the Son of God, these shepherds viewed was to grow into the man who was sent by God to be the Shepherd of humanity, beginning with the Jews and then all people, including us, who are the Gentiles. This holy God born into the darkness of humanity, brings light as he comes as Supreme Shepherd, and was deserted by God and sacrificed as a lamb, in the darkest hour on Good Friday, so that in his sacrifice we — having been cleaned — can say, "Let's go and see and hear what the Lord has done for us." And having been in the Risen Shepherd's supreme presence and receiving forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, we can return to our everyday lives glorifying and praising God for all the things we have heard and seen, which are just as we have been told in God's Word.

So the inspired words Isaiah wrote all those years before Christ was born are for us. The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:2,4,6-7)

The zeal of God has accomplished this for you. We no longer have to fear the shepherd's rod and staff striking us and oppressing us and driving us away from the flock of God into darkness and death. Rather because this Christ child was born for you, because this Shepherd was laid in a manger for you, and was nailed to the cross for you, we now can live in peace as the Shepherd's sheep, living forever in the light. We have been adopted and given an identity as his children, his sheep, with eternal access to his divine glory. And now the rod of the Shepherd beats off the enemy, from within us and from near us, every time we hear the Law. And his staff, the Gospel, saves us and comforts us as we live under his twenty-four hour a day watch.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:1-6) Amen.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

C, Advent 3 - Luke 3:9-10, 16-18 "Chop-Chop"

The radio announcer says, "It's a quarter to eight!" Then the familiar sound of the ABC radio news opener fills the air — and all hell breaks loose. Lunch boxes, homework, jumpers, school bags, toothpaste, teeth brushed, hair combed, laces done, and out the door. Because the bus – she's a comin'!

It was amazing how the news opener would turn us towards what needed to be done, so we could get on our bikes and ride the half mile to the front gate where we met the school bus each morning.

You'd have thought we'd have learnt our lesson from the countless times before when our procrastination and playing caused us to be late — time and time again. But no! Being late for the bus was a regular occurrence, just as regular as the ABC news at a quarter to eight.

If we were out the door at a quarter to eight, just as the music from the opener rang out, it would be a leisurely ride on our bikes to the front gate where the bus would arrive at five to eight. But any later the ride turned into a panicked dash at the last minute.

Only now am I beginning to learn of my mother's dilemma — and my wife, her mother's dilemma — as we go through the same struggles to get our children out the door on time for school. But in all of this I remember mum's regular word of encouragement so we would not be late. Chop-chop! Chop-chop! These words burnt themselves into my brain just as has the ABC radio news opener. "Chop-chop boys, you'll be late for the bus, if you don't get a wriggle on."

John the Baptist came calling chop-chop! But it was not the school bus to which he was calling Israel's attention. He was calling Israel to turn and be prepared for the coming of Christ.

In his proclamation, John the Baptist appealed to the crowd, "The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." "What should we do then?" the crowd asked. John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. (Luke 3:9-10,16-18)

Chop-chop the axe is just about to swing! Repent and return, be the trees that bear good fruit, the axeman is coming to chop down the trees that don't bear the fruits of righteousness.

John's message was long in coming. He was the last of God's prophets but only after four hundred years of silence. Last week we heard from Malachi who said, "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap." (Malachi 3:2)

And now John came proclaiming that Christ would come to "baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire". The launderer is coming to wash with the Spirit; the refiner stands ready to refine with fire!

John heralded that a new era was just about to begin; the axe was just about to fall on Israel like it had never before.

John reflects every proclamation of the prophets before him. These former prophets all called Israel to repent and return to God, and now John too cries out on behalf of God. But in his warning for Israel to chop-chop, the axe was ready at the root of the tree, as we hear God call through the former prophet Isaiah…

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people… (Is 11:1-5, 10-11a)

And so with us, the call to "chop-chop" is one we all need to hear. The new era is ongoing the axe is at the root of our hearts ready to chop out all unworthiness before God. God calls you to chop-chop.

In this new era the axe falls! The first to get the chop was John who came calling us to chop-chop. John suffered the consequences of his undiscriminating preaching by literally getting the chop from Herod; losing his head in calling Herod to repentance for marrying his brother's wife.

Then Jesus' ministry of baptism and fire swung into full swing. He swung the axe like it had never been swung before. Jesus put the Law in front of Israel calling people to turn from their sin to God. He revealed the failings of the teachers of the Law; demonstrating that they themselves didn't keep the Law as God desired. He showed the piety of the Pharisees to be a sham, in that their piety didn't lead to God's glorification but their own.

The people heard, chop-chop! Just like we kids heard before the coming of the school bus. Chop-chop! Just like Isaiah, John the Baptist, and all the other prophets had called the fathers of Israel to chop-chop. Now the music began to play, just like the quarter to eight news, as the Son of God came to chop-chop, chop into the heart of humanity's sin.

Jesus came with the Law, like no other. Not only did he enforce the Law, he extended it to the holiest extent. Hatred is now murder! Looking in lust is now adultery! There are now no loop holes in the Law. Chop-chop the axe is swinging!

The axe is swinging on us too! Christ brings to us this holiest of Law. He calls you to repentance! He comes bringing judgement on you, and me! He comes as the Launderer and the Refiner. He comes with a baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.

John the Baptist brought this "chop-chop" message to the people, the same message which comes to you today. Like the crowd, the tax collectors, and the soldiers who asked John, "What should we do then?" we are also called to ask, "What should we do?"

What should you do? Christ has come and Christ will come again. Chop-chop, Jesus is coming!

The axe has fallen, on you and me! But unlike John and many of the other prophet of the Law beforehand who fell under the axe. Unlike many of the Israelites who fell under the axe of God's Law. The axe of the Axeman, the soap of the Launderer, and the fire of the Refiner came down on Jesus Christ in a baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.

Never before had the axe of God's Law come down as hard as it did in Jesus birth, life, and death. The axe fell hard on Israel, and it falls hard on us, and Christ wore its full force on the cross. Chop-chop, God's One and Only Son got the chop, for Israel, for humanity, for you, and for me.

We are in the new era of Salvation now! The message of the prophets still stands but now their message stands together with the Apostles' as they point to he who took the chop for us being baptised into death and bearing the fires of wrath on the cross for us.

For us today who live between Christ's first and second coming the call is for us to chop-chop, and be ready for Christ to come again. And we ask, "What should we do?"

And the prophets, the Apostles, and Christ himself call us to chop-chop — to believe in the Word of God! Believe that Christ's baptism into death is binding your baptism into his life, that Jesus' fire of judgement and death at Calvary should have been your deadly eternal fire into death, and Jesus' resurrection is your hope of resurrection to eternal life with him.

The axe has swung! Chop-chop! You have been grafted onto the stump of Jesse! Now let Christ bear good fruit in you! Let the greatest fruit you bear be the fruit of faith that you are now in Christ unto eternity. Why? Because Jesus, he's a comin!

And so with joy, praise and thanksgiving we hear from Isaiah in chapter 12, "In that day you will say: 'I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.' With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation." (Isaiah 12:1-3)

And finally from Philippians 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Amen. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

C, Advent 2 - Luke 3:1-6 Malachi 3:1-4 "Known Unto God"

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Lieutenant Tim Logan and Sergeant James Wheeler were buried with full military honours at a cemetery outside Port Moresby on Tuesday December the first, this last week. Some sixty odd years after WW2 they were finally identified and laid to rest. In the midst of ferocious battle these men paid the ultimate price but no one knew what that price was for all those years until their remains were identified.
However, there were another two bodies buried. Unlike Wheeler and Logan, these other two individuals could not be identified and so their bodies shared a coffin and tombstone with the inscription, "Known unto God". No one will ever know who they were or what they did to pay the price which has rendered them unknown to the annals of history. Only God knows who they were or what they did.
Interestingly, in this situation, humanity has acknowledged God's existence as human knowledge rendered itself flawed. In an age when God is denied, or treated as flaccid, these unidentified men, dead and buried, testify to the all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent God of heaven and earth.
These men lying in the unidentified grave, "Know unto God", now lie in silence testifying not to what they have done, but rather that God is and what he can do. Who would ever have known these "Known unto God" individuals would bear an inscription making God known unto us!
Similarly there was another chap that bore witness to God. He was nothing special to look at, and was calling people to prepare themselves with a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. His name was John the Baptist, and he came from the desert into Judea making God known unto the people.
Isaiah spoke of John's preparation of the people, saying, "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all flesh will see God's salvation.' " (Luke 3:4-6, Isaiah 40:3-5)
Yet there have been many fleshy bodies that have endured crooked and rough roads making us ask, "Did they see God's salvation?" We might think of these four chaps killed in battle with only two of them recognised years after the conflict.
Even John the Baptist died in the most horrible way after being the herald for the coming of Christ. John lost his head, at the word of Herod, who sought to save face amongst his guests. Did John see God's salvation?
Many expect to be delivered out of trouble in this life, but in reality the trouble from which we seek to be delivered are only surface troubles which cover a much more serious trouble grounded in our being. Left untreated this greater trouble will never leave us. Not even unto eternity.
We might ask, "Did these diggers see God's salvation, or did John see God's salvation?" But for these men fallen in battle, their salvation is only known to themselves and God. Also John the Baptist's salvation is ultimately in the hands of God.
Yet with John the Baptist we hear his testimony to Christ in God's word. And John willingly baptised Jesus in the Jordan, baptising Jesus into a death that would ensure his salvation and the salvation of all those who believe that their baptism places them in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
So salvation is there to be seen for all those who believe in Christ by trusting they are sinners and by trusting Christ has power over sin through his death and resurrection.
Today we do not have John the Baptist preparing the way for us. Instead we have the Holy Spirit heralding Christ through his Word. The Holy Spirit opens our hearts to his Word, so we see Christ Jesus has come to us and is our salvation. We see Christ has come to us in baptism, he continues to come to be our Immanuel, the one true God with us, who lives in you and me. And because we have he who gives salvation living in us and breathing his Spirited Word in us, we also know God will come again to give us the fruit of our faith and hope – an eternity of peace in loving fellowship face to face with God forever.
But as we're made known to God, we can expect all sorts of trials to test us. And as we wait for Christ's return we might ask as Malachi asks, "But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap." (Malachi 3:2)
We can expect to be refined and washed time and time again in this life. When this happens do not lose hope. God disciplines those he loves. He may or may not save you from the temporary trials here on earth, but he will walk with you through these trials in order to save you from the eternal trial from which Satan and all his evil entourage are already condemned.
Salvation is ours! You are known unto God! God has been made known unto you! Trust in Christ who has come and will come again! God shows mercy to you through Christ, he remembers you because of Jesus, and he rescues you through his Son's death and resurrection.
Why, because the Son of God was "Known unto God the Father", known to bear your sin on the cross, even though he was known to be without sin. He bore the ultimate refiner's fire and we have been washed with the launderer's soap, the Word of God, in the waters of baptism.
God has enabled you to serve him without fear, for in God's sight you have been made holy and righteous in baptism unto eternity. You are known unto God, and are now free to bear Christ so God might be made known to others as you daily serve him all the days of your life.
But how do we do this? We serve God not so much by worrying what we should do; rather we serve him best by living in the hope of our salvation. And this is simply to live each day believing we are a part of his new reality. Our being is now being lead by Jesus towards a reality of peace and harmony with God, by the power of the Holy Spirit in God's Word.
So live looking towards the source of your salvation, Jesus Christ, and others around you will soon want to see what you see. As you live "Known unto God", God will be made known unto others, for Jesus' sake, Amen.