Monday, December 28, 2009

In the midst of the muck and mess he comes

I needed to hear that. Pastor Brett, my pastor preached a sermon this Christmas how Jesus comes in the middle of the muck and mess of the stable. Muck and mess, that is sometimes an appropriate description of what I am in, personally. That pretty much sums up also what the world is right now. Yet silently, ubiquitously, Jesus comes. It is hard to believe that Christ could be with me, in my muck and mess. To tell you honestly, I sometimes think Jesus is not in the radar of my life, like the radar has gone blank. Yet by God's word, He is Immanuel, the God who is with us. The trials that happen in my life are quick to distract me from sensing the presence of Christ. I have been noticing that. There are many things that can pull you away and so you think Jesus has gone off the chart. It is hard to believe that he is there even though all your senses say NO.

I also observe how deceptive the enemy could be. You look at the world, its glamor and glossiness, it sedates you to the fact that the enemy of our souls is also at work in the lives of others. The enemy does not advertise himself to the people he deceives and they have no inclination that they could be under his sway. I was speaking a few days ago with an elderly gentleman who taught in university and since have retired. He expressed concern at his teenage grand daughter's bland mind, how she has not been prepared for the basic tenets of life, she seems like wondering off and following where ever the wind blows. One of my children has been affected by this too in some degree or another.

The battlefield is in the mind because once this field is conquered the one in possession of this territory, takes control. It is indeed a faith-war. It is a cultural war and the media is also employed by the enemy to promote his false way of thinking - a false mindset. It is a battle of belief systems. He does not do this blatantly, he does it by suggestion, subtly. I suppose this becomes prominent as Christianity weakens its influence in society. Where as the tools the HS employs are countable by our fingers - Word and Sacrament, they are spiritual, but the enemy employs all the resources he can find to lure our minds to his agenda, he employs the flesh and appeals to our flesh.

May God (as Luther prayed) keep us steadfast in his Word, because without the Word, we would soon be sucked up by the mentality of the world.

I am interested in any insights you can share on this ubiquitousness of Christ and deceitfulness of the enemy.


acroamaticus said...


I think the most helpful thing I can say is that 'tentatio', which you are experiencing, is painful, but ultimately serves to deepen our grasp of grace through faith. And, it makes us better theologians!
I'm sure Pr Brett can give you guidance on this.
I'm sure he would also point you to John Kleinig's 'Grace Upon Grace' as a wonderful resource on the spiritual life and the place of tentatio in it.

Steve Martin said...

We are sure in the midst of a great battle.

Thanks be to God that He is the Right Man on our side.

We sure aren't, so much of the time.

L P said...

Pr. M,

That word tentation is a good label to describe what we from time to time go through.

Steve M,

It is a fight for sure.


J. K. Jones said...

Good post, LP.

It helps to be reminded of the situation I find myself in.

L P said...


Thank you. Honestly I observe most specially when we are facing temptation, we also are tempted not to believe he is there.

Luther said we do not really fear, love nor trust God.

My problem is trusting God that he will make all things work together for good. Sometimes this eludes me.

God grant you and yours peace this New Year.