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Grace, Mercy, and Peace to You

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace, mercy and peace to you during this Easter season from our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

As I’m writing you this month, I’d like you to contemplate the nature of rhetorical greetings. I’m sure we’ve all heard or even used the phrase “How are you doing?” or “How’s it going?” as a greeting. It’s a peculiarity of our culture that we use these “rhetorical questions” as greetings. We know these are “rhetorical” questions because we don’t really expect an answer other than the standard “I’m fine, how are you?” response.

In fact, it is sometimes even considered a breach of etiquette to answer with a genuine or lengthy response, especially by responding with a serious listing of problems or concerns. We make the distinction when, on occasion, we really want to engage someone at a personal level and know how they are doing by saying, “How are you doing, really?” This seemingly “gives permission” for a genuine response.

That said, there is a time and place for everything, and these rhetorical greetings have their use and are not inherently bad. However, as Christians and fellow members of the body of Christ, I hope that we will minimize their use as we fellowship with one another.

I believe that God calls on us to earnestly engage with one another as brothers and sisters (Hebrews 13:1), showing our love (and His love) for one another (John 13:35 and 1 John 4:7) and caring for and supporting one another (Galatians 6:10 and 1 Peter 4:10). It comes down to this – do not take anything for granted, but make every effort to truly know, be at peace with and minister to one another (Romans 14:19 and Ephesians 4:3).

With regard to rhetorical greetings and taking things for granted, please take another look at the first line of this article and know that I did not write that as a rhetorical greeting, but that I meant it to be rich in meaning. The writers of the epistles often opened their letters with similar words (2 John 1:3) and I am convinced that these words were not intended to be bypassed or set aside as rhetorical.

What does it mean that we have grace, mercy and peace from God?

Grace may be defined as receiving something that we do not deserve,such as salvation (Ephesians 2:8 and Titus 2:11).

Mercy may be defined as not being subject to the consequences of our actions, such as punishment for our sins (Romans 8:1 and Titus 3:5-6).

Peace may be understood to be peace with God, which is ours because of His grace and mercy (John 14:27 and Romans 5:1).

Let none of us ever take for granted these gifts from God and let us all be reminded of the deep meaning of these words whenever we hear or read them!

Finally, drawing again from the first line of this article, let us be reminded that we are still in the Easter season. It is not “over” just because Easter Day is past. In fact, we remember and celebrate Easter every week when we worship (even during Lent) by meeting on Sunday (Resurrection Day) rather than on the Sabbath.

He is Risen!

Mike Kunschke, Elder


Lutherans For Life: Equipping Lutherans to be Gospel motivated voices for Life

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The subject line is the mission of Lutherans For Life(LFL), a national organization of dedicated Lutherans, which is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod. LFL is not subsidized by the LCMS or any other church body. It is supported entirely by individual donations and grants. LFL's vision is that every Lutheran congregation upholds the God-given value of human life and influences society to do the same. LFL believes that the Church is compelled by God's Word to speak and act on behalf of those who are vulnerable and defenseless. The crisis of our times is the repudiation of biblical truth manifested in the wanton destruction of innocent human life through legalized abortion-on-demand and the growing threat to the lives of others through legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia. Therefore, LFL, strives to give witness, from a biblical perspective, to the Church and society on these and other related issues such as chastity, post abortion healing, and family living.

This organization offers ample opportunity and support for Lutherans who want to witness, serve, educate or encourage others to protect the sancitity of Life based on the Word of God.

In the February Newsletter, Pastor Shaltanis mentioned Lutherans For Life as a potential advocacy group that we at Lord of Life Lutheran Church might want to become more involved with. Pastor stated that by our very name, we proclaim that our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord of Life and how fitting it would be if we would take a more concerned effort to advocate FOR life. Kathy Wilde, myself, and others have indicated an interest in developing a support group at LOL which would promote the sanctity of life through God's Word, and insofar, as this interest grows, developing a LFL Life Team at LOL. If you have an interest in being a member in support of this effort, let Pastor or one of us know.

Jesus said," I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)(ESV) We pray that we continue to believe that every human life from conception to natural death regardless of physical or mental challenges or condition of dependence is precious in God's sight. Amen.

Dave Peters Board of Elders