Jesus is not a demon, but He was accused of being one. That happens quite often to the Church. We are sometimes accused of being what our enemies really are. Satan is our real enemy, not the world, or the unbeliever, or those who are overcome with fear. Jesus called Satan the “father of lies” and a “murderer from the beginning.” What does this mean? Satan promises a life, happiness, health, and prosperity that does not lead to life or real fulfillment. It is a lie! What he offers leads to a death that is far worse than temporary physical death. What Satan offers always leads us into ourselves, to the worship of self, to pride and arrogance, to fear and despair, to shame and hopelessness. What Satan offers leads to a death that separates us from God.
But what Christ gives to us through His Word is a life that transcends this life, a life that is greater than mere physical life, a life that is victory over death and the grave, a life that is eternal, a life that is anchored in the sacrificial love of God in Christ who offered up His life in death, so that we might live. This is the life that Job saw when he confessed, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” This is the life that Father Abraham saw—the life of Christ, the life that was the culmination of every promise of God in the Scriptures for the salvation of mankind, the life of the great “I AM”—the eternal Son of the living God, the life that was fulfilled in Jesus’ sacrificial death for sin and His resurrection from the dead, the life that reconciled us to God in Christ, the life that gives us God’s love, the life that saves, raises the dead, and gives eternal life. “Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” This is the life that Jesus promised Mary and Martha when He raised Lazarus from the dead: “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he may die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die!” (John 11:24-26)
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he shall never see death.” That’s why we are continuing to have services, to broadcast services over the internet, to distribute CD’s of services to those who are in isolation at home and have no other access to Jesus’ Word. That’s why we will visit the sick and dying and care for the forsaken and lonely. That’s why we encourage you to take up the Congregation at Prayer with your family. Use this strange time we are in to be “Safer in the Word of Your Savior.” To keep His Word is to trust it, to receive it, to love it, to learn to believe that His Word gives you life—real life, eternal life, and the promise of the resurrection—because His Word joins you to Him who gave His life so that you might live!
P.S. During the fall we will continue to have expanded opportunities to receive the Lord’s Word and the Lord’s Supper. “Sunday Service and Sermon” will be offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays. Didache Divine Service (Adult Instruction in the Christian Faith) will be held on Monday mornings at 10:30. This will be a special opportunity for retired members of the congregation and others to review the basics of the Christian faith according to the Small Catechism and also receive the Lord’s Supper at the conclusion of the catechesis. Daily Chapel will be held Monday through Friday from 8:00–8:30, with a special Thursday Matins Service followed by Holy Communion on mornings prior to Coffee Break Bible Study.