This was written as a newsletter article by a pastor in Minnesota and distributed on the pericope list for use by other pastors or laity.
According to the records, our area has never received so much snow in December—and all before the official start of winter! The largest snowfall came from the northeast, with snowdrifts that were dramatically different than most of our snowfalls.
A huge drift, about five and a half feet tall, swept across the front of our Zion school. This was so massive that it covered the nativity scene that had just been set up earlier that week. On Sunday, December 19, the drift was opened up to reveal the crude manger scene. Even so, many people passed by the cavern largely unaware of the message buried within.
How appropriate. A heavy snowfall, accompanied with prevailing winds, was all it took to cover over the message of Christmas. Only those who knew the approximate placement of the nativity set could discern its whereabouts, and even then, with much probing, reveal what lay underneath.
Isn’t that just like the message of Jesus—not only his birth, but also his teaching, his ministry and the message about God and eternal life! This good news of salvation is laid out for us by God, our heavenly Father, but it doesn’t take much to cover the whole thing over! The flurries of life can become a blinding storm and the prevailing winds of society can soon cover over the precious message God desires to share with us.
That happens time and again, not only in our present time, but in former ages. God’s people received the Word of God and then lost it. Most did not even know what they had lost! In time, God’s Word was discovered again—and Israel rejoiced and lamented at the same time. They marveled at the goodness and patience of God and repented of their former disregard for the Word of God.
My friends, do not lose the precious Gospel God has given you. Do not hurry on through life, worried about this and that, concerning yourself only with deadlines and destinies. In so doing you daily walk past that which soon becomes a buried treasure!
The tragedy is that many Christians—and whole families—lose sight of their Christian faith and become so ignorant that they could well be Buddhist or Hindu or Pagan, for all they knew. Over time, people lose perspective of right and wrong and do not see their own sin and their need for a savior—much less a Savior for the world. In short, though they are baptized, they may not even know who Jesus is. Likewise, they lose sight of what forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life are all about.
Discover again the glory of God, as found in Jesus Christ. Familiarize yourself with the Gift and tell others of the glory that angels wish to tell, which you have seen and heard—in Jesus name. Hold fast to the Word of life. Blessed are you as you hear the Word of God and keep it.
Pastor Eric Zacharias
Zion Lutheran Church
Pericope is a list primarily for LCMS pastors for the intention of discussing topics related to the lessons for the coming Sunday, sermons, and other worship related material.