“The blood of Jesus [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin.”
I John 1:7
Friends in Christ,
There has been much talk recently about the future of religious freedom. Both the federal government and the State of Illinois seem to be intent upon infringing upon the right of religious organizations to worship, believe, practice, and act as we believe God would have us do.
Charitable organizations such as Lutheran Child and Family Services and Catholic Charities who obviously have religious roots are being forced to provide adoption services to homosexual couples or lose all state contracts. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that religious organizations must provide health insurance coverage of contraceptives and abortive drugs (the so-called “Plan B” pill). These things violate the religious beliefs of, not only LCMS Lutherans, but millions of Americans from across a broad spectrum of religions.
I encourage you to contact your representatives concerning these topics. As citizens of the United States it is our responsibility to voice our opinions, especially when religious freedom is concerned. This, however, must not eclipse the true message of Christianity.
“The blood of Jesus [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin,” states John, the longest living Apostle of Christ. John lived through a time of persecution and was even exiled for a time. Yet his political treatises (if he ever wrote any, which I doubt) have not endured to this day. His writings of Jesus Christ have.
As Christians we must not lose sight of our true message. Holding onto political and civil freedom is important, but it must not be done at the expense of proclaiming the blood of Jesus. In this Lenten season we refocus our eyes upon the cross of Christ. We look to Jesus for our salvation, forgiveness, redemption, and justification. Without Jesus’ bloody suffering and death we have no need for religious freedom.
Good Friday is fast approaching. It will be here before we know it. Let us not look away lest we miss it and the whole reason for our faith.
I encourage you in the season of Lent to avoid distractions that will only take away from the cross of Christ and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus calls to us in this season to repent and cling to His cross. May God grant this to us all.