Of course, the first Star Wars movie was Episode 4. Episode 1 came along three movies later and the whole Hollywood prequel thing got going… And many are still confused.
Instead, let’s discuss this birthday cake I received from friends last Friday (See picture). I’ve heard the words, “old man” before but this is the first time I’ve actually seen them in print. It gave me pause for two reasons.
1)Yes, I am an older man. But that’s relative. Of course, some of my closest relatives – meaning my four twenty-something children have been calling me this for a long time and can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be more than twice their age. Yes, still more than twice their age. However, I still look up to many people who are more chronologically advanced than I. Although no one I know is twice my age anymore…
2)When I celebrated that birthday last week, so did my “Old Man.” Call it the Old Adam, the Old Man, my sinful nature – whatever term you use, he’s ugly and dangerous. Every day brings a multitude of opportunities for him to shipwreck my faith and torpedo my trust in God. As long as I draw breath on this earth, my “Old Man” will accompany me and bedevil me and make my spiritual life extremely challenging at times.
But I am not without resources. My “New Man” – installed in me through the water and the Word of Holy Baptism shortly after I was born – pushes back. In fact, every time I remember my Baptism, my Old Man gets dunked in the crushing righteousness of Christ. I have access to Holy Communion often. In this precious meal, my Lord Jesus offers me his very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and the wine for personal forgiveness of my sins. I was privileged to receive this just last Sunday. Underneath all of this is Word of God, so richly and readily available; and so powerful!
By God’s grace, I’ve begun another God-blessed trip around the sun, knowing that the Son is at the very center of my life and being. Every time a birthday comes around for me (and others), this passage always comes to mind: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand