Made whole.

He will not break off a bent reed, nor put out a flickering lamp. He will persist until he causes justice to triumph.

Jesus came to fulfill what Isaiah had written about centuries before. Isaiah writes about a ‘bruised reed.’ and a ‘smoldering wick.’ Both analogies speak to something at the point of death, at the point of losing everything. 

We previously discussed the fact that the word bruise in Hebrew really meant a very severe injury, injury to the point of death. So too the smoldering wick. We see the light as dying, going out and away into nothingness.

As we journey through this Lenten season we will focus on aspects of our brokenness and what is smoldering within us. We will see how Jesus has taken brokenness and the smoldering away, how He has healed and re-ignited us, such that we may bear great witness; so that we fulfill His purpose every day; that we have life eternal.

It is sort of odd, the tenses of the words used here. We speak of Jesus having already healed us, having already re-ignited us. Yet, we often see ourselves as still bruised reeds and smoldering wicks. Perhaps we do not feel complete healing within ourselves nor the fire, the passion we should have for the gospel life?

It is not uncommon to feel this way. Still, we should set those thoughts aside because we already possess the healing, the re-igniting we desire. We have been mightily changed by Jesus.

As a special blessing we have the example of Kassidy Colleen before us today. Today Kassidy enters the Holy Church through the waters of regeneration. She becomes a full-fledged member of the Kingdom of God which Jesus established.

Regeneration means as it sounds, to be re-made, re-born, made whole, perfected. No matter how many years ago we were baptized, we remain in our regenerated state.

You see, Jesus did not come to leave things as they were, to just hope for some change in the world. As He faced off against Satan in the desert, He drew a clear distinction between what life in the Kingdom is and what life outside is. In the Kingdom the reborn, those with healed bruises and re-ignited flames, place their reliance on God alone. The world’s allurements are nothing to us. We have something so much better, something Kassidy owns today – life in the Kingdom.

We, healed of our bruises and re-ignited to passionately partake in God’s work, see the blessing of this day, a reminder of our own baptism, and this Lenten season. Here is our chance to realize our state as truly healed and re-ignited, to return our understanding to what it means to have been regenerated – made new, whole, and on fire for the gospel, and do each day all that this status entails.

And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Wholeness, completeness – words that present a sense of the ideal, and concepts that are so hard to live on a day-to-day basis. As a Church dedicated to scripture, and considering that we classify the proclamation and teaching of God’s word as a sacrament. let’s take a moment to consider the Bible. I remember classes from grade school on up – and the oft repeated question – what is the Bible? The expected, technical answer, which most kids got wrong? The Bible is a Book of Books. A Book of Books? Makes it seem as if the Bible is a kind of library, and indeed it could be considered that. However, my classmates and I would invariably get the ‘answer’ wrong, blurting out – “It is a book.” But what if we were right? My classmates and I were right because perhaps, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we were seeing the bigger picture, the completeness, the wholeness of scripture. All of scripture, from its inspired stories, histories, prophecies, and poetry in the Old Testament is one. It points invariably to the coming salvation found only in Jesus Christ. The Gospels give us Jesus in His complete revelation – the call to live life as He lived, the call to be a true sons and daughters of the Father as He is the Son of the Father. The invitation to accept Him as our Savior by confession of our sin and belief by faith. The remainder of the New Testament interprets the Gospel into keys for daily living within the wholeness of the Christian community. We dedicate the month of November to remembering our dearly departed. We have a lesson here. The wholeness and completeness of scripture is life’s model, who we are and where we are going. Life is not a series of separate stories and events, just a book of books, or unrelated chapters. Our life extends from birth to eternity. We are not just separate people and events. We live in a continuum that has, as its goal and end, life in the eternal wholeness and completeness of God Who holds all things together.

November and days of remembrance, days of honor and prayer, days of Thanksgiving. We have an active schedule throughout the month including the most important aspect of our life together – regular worship and fellowships that renews and strengths us for the totality of our life in Jesus.

Read more in our November 2019 Newsletter.