February 21, 2012 - Extraordinary Measures

 
Is this email not displaying correctly?

View It In Your Browser.
Extraordinary Measures
 
My wife and I are newly married.  I lost my first wife to breast cancer.  It was devastating to lose her, but it was no less so for my wife who lost her own husband to another form of cancer several years earlier. 
 
Last Sunday evening we sat down and enjoyed watching the movie titled, “Extraordinary Measures.”  It focuses around a couple who so love their children that they are doing everything within their power to find a way to save two of their three children from a rare genetic disease which is untreatable with conventional medicine.  I won't spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it, but if you enjoy movies, it is worth taking the time to watch. 
 
It struck me as we were watching this movie that Dr. Martin Luther and the Reformers had, in their own way, so loved their fellow man that they employed “extraordinary measures” as they battled for the truth and supremacy of God's Word in a day when the papacy and his counterpart, the emperor, wielded great power and control to prevent it.  And yet, when all is said and done, when we reflect on that struggle through its accurately conveyed historical accounts we see that the “extraordinary measures” really boiled down to a simple and profound trust on the part of the Reformers in the precious and powerful Word of God itself!
 
That Word is the creative power of God.  That Word is what confines all under sin.  That Word is how hearts are changed in repentance.  That Word is where hope is born and faith is engendered in the heart.  That Word is what drives out fear.  That Word is what works effectively in all who believe.  That Word is what sanctifies and makes holy.  That Word is what lives and abides forever.  That Word is God's Word, and it is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). 
 
When it comes to love of mankind and using “extraordinary measures,” the one who wrote the book on it was the one who is Himself “the Word made flesh [who] dwelt among us” (John 1:14).  As we sit on the cusp of Lententide in this year of Lord 2012, think for a moment of the love that was manifested in the person and work of our divine Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Ponder the inestimable love that purchased our redemption.  Christ, very God of very God, surrendered the glories of heaven, suffered the afflictions of earth, and literally bore the torments of hell … all in order that He might bring His enemies to heaven!  I ask you, where in all of history have you ever seen greater love and more “extraordinary measures” than this!?
 
To paraphrase a devotional book we are using at home … It was love, pure love, that resulted in His use of the “extraordinary measures” that brought Him from His heavenly throne.  Luther speaks of it this way in his Genesis commentary: “As to the fact that the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of God, it is clear that the reason also for this charitable act was the misfortune into which we fell through sin.  God performed this marvelous and extraordinary work in such a way that He first revealed through His Word that He would do it in the future” (AE, Vol. 1, p. 79).  Having found Himself in the appearance of a man in the fullness of time, it was love, unsearchable love that impelled Him to fulfill the Law's demands in the place of guilty sinners.  It was love, supreme love, that drove Him to the altar of the cross, where He uses most “extraordinary measures” to atone for the sins of a world that had spurned His every pleading.
 
Such is the love of God, dear Christians, for us and for the world.  And it is out of such love for us and for the world that the ACELC was formed in the spirit of the Reformers.  For we seek not to employ “extraordinary measures” in any way different than did they with their simple and profound trust in the precious and powerful Word of God.  Simply put, we are born out of love for our brother, and we exist, “to give a united voice against errors that are officially adopted in convention, tolerated, and/or promoted in the LCMS.”  We are a threat to no one who stands on Scripture and Scripture alone.  We are, however, intent in our purpose and we will, by the grace and mercy of God, continue to make our voice heard in all the venues open to us. 
 
We invite you to review our materials (www.acelc.net) and especially to look over the papers presented at our recently concluded conference in Lincoln, Nebraska ... “CHRIST FOR US: The Lord's Supper.”  Soon, very soon, DVDs of the conference will be available for purchase.
 
Blessings to you and your congregation as you travel the Lenten road up to Jerusalem with our Lord.
 
Pastor Bruce G. Ley
Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church
Albany, Oregon
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*

Our mailing address is:

*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|*
*|END:IF|*
*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*

 
Post a Comment


Contents © 2017 Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations | Church Website Provided by mychurchwebsite.net | Privacy Policy