I’m referring to the cavalcade of calamites that dot our nation’s history in mid-April: the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the killing of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech in 2007, the burning of the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco Texas in 1993 (75 people lost their lives), the school shooting at Columbine in 1999 (13 dead). Further back in history, Lincoln was assassinated and the Titanic sank, all within a few days on either side of April 15th.
The Oklahoma City bombing, has always stuck with me as an especially challenging event. 168 people died in that bombing in downtown Oklahoma City which took place 25 years ago yesterday (April 19, 1995) at 9:03 a.m., Central Time. Who could forget the terrible images of that tragedy or of any of the tragedies previously mentioned? That’s what death looks like. And that’s how it acts – at random, taking young and old, healthy and sick, causing inexpressible grief.
What would you have said to someone who lost a loved one there? What would you have said to the woman who, despite knowing that her daughter had been killed in the bombing, still called her daughter’s answering machine weeks afterwards just to hear her voice? Can anything help at a time like that? I recall that on a building near the site of the bombing a cross was lit so that it shined at night. That would be the only message that lasts: Jesus Christ, crucified, died, and risen again. Jesus lives. Only Jesus saves. It’s the only message that provides lasting comfort.
This is the message Jesus sends us to proclaim to a dying, desperate world. Use the one spiritual life preserver that works. One God, one name, the name of Jesus. Give them Jesus. Nothing more. Nothing less. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
30 Days of Gratitude:
#20 – God’s people are using this unprecedented moment to share the good news of peace, forgiveness, love, and hope that come only from Jesus!
Trinity family, please be sure to read the following letter from our principal, Michael Wieting. Continue to thank the Lord for our faithful staff and ask for his continued blessing upon our church and school ministry!
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Trinity Lutheran Church,
After much prayerful deliberation and careful consideration, the Lord has led me to return the Divine Call to serve as 5th-8th grade teacher and principal of Our Savior’s Lutheran School in Wausau, Wisconsin.
It was truly a humbling and awe-inspiring opportunity to deliberate two calls, and it is truly amazing how God worked through this process of the past few weeks. Special thanks to everyone who shared with me your thoughts, questions, and prayers. They were very much appreciated during this call process.
Now may God continue to bless the ministries of Trinity Lutheran Church and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and let us all continue to place our faith and trust in God’s infinite wisdom, power, and love as He leads us all according to His good will and purpose.
Principal, Trinity Lutheran School - Minocqua
God be with you,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand