“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
‘Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.’” Isaiah 1:16-18
The last few months have seen a world thrown into chaos. The nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd have led to many conversations about the injustice in our country, our communities and even with churches. The Church is a place of healing for the hurting and the broken, a place of hope for those who have been oppressed and neglected, a place for belonging for those who have been victims of prejudice and discrimination. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. After having been unable to gather for worship for months, we have grown in our appreciation for the words of Absolution and the Lord’s Supper for the forgiveness of sins and strengthening of our faith. We come in our shame and our sins that are like scarlet, but Christ washes us and makes us as white as snow. Hypocrites and reprobates, one and all, kneel before Christ and are made new.
The blood of Jesus does more than just make us clean though. Christ also enables us to be instruments of healing in our communities as we live and serve in our daily callings. As the Body of Christ, the Church is an agent for good, for justice and to fight against oppression. That is why the Missouri District provides mission grants where ministry happens among those who have the wounded and the damaged. The Church belongs at the crossroads of racism, poverty, and injustice to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bear in people’s lives.
Each week the Church assembles to receive Christ’s washing and renewal and then is sent into the world to bring Christ’s love to those in need. The Church is Christ’s mission and our prayer is that across Missouri our congregations would be bold in confession, but also in doing good, bringing justice and correcting oppression. May this happen among all of God’s children everywhere as God works through His Church.
Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, all people were created in Your image and are those for whom Your Son died, by Your Spirit’s power, enable Your Church to bring the healing balm of the Gospel to all who have been wounded by sin that in Christ they are made whole; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan