Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From Nazareth to Lake Wobegone

Schoessow, David. "Sin, Sickness, and Salvation from Nazareth to Lake Wobegone." A Reader in Pastoral Theology.  Fort Wayne: Concordia Seminary Press, 2002.  46-53.

Regardless of time and place we see we are living in a world which struggles with sin and its fruits, including sickness and death.  But Jesus came in true physical humanity to break the bondage of sin and death.

Schoessow gives us a brief exegesis of Luke 4.31-5.32 and 7.11-17, illustrating how Jesus' work is very concrete and physical.  He reaches into our society touchingthe needs of hurting people.  As we look at these people Jesus touched we see a broad spectrum of suffering.  Jesus, in fact, can address the full scope of human need.

Schoessow goes on to give an historical summary of the Church and particularly Christian families as the locus of healing, charity, and nurture in society.  In the context of the divine service we also see prayers for healing and provision, exhortation to charity and mercy ministries, and biblical teaching about doing good for our neighbors.

Where should hurting people turn for help?  Historically God's people have worked tirelessly to care for this world.  May the Lord enable us to take up that task again with confidence.  Our help is in the Lord.

Dave Spotts
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