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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"What Should I Tell My Children?"

February 16, 2008

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And Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:19b

The Reverend Doctor Scott Seidler is one of the Pastors of Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Missouri. Kirkwood is known as the community which hosts the headquarters of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. Last week it also became known as a place where six people died in a shooting at City Hall. Shortly after the murders I asked Reverend Seidler to do a Daily Devotion. While this is longer than normal, and he volunteered to cut it down, I am so impressed with what he wrote that I share it with you in its entirety

“What should I tell my children?”
This past Thursday in Kirkwood, Missouri, we once again witnessed the violence human beings are capable of perpetrating against one another. A frustrated citizen rushed the City Council and in a hail of bullets left four city officials and two police officers murdered, injuring two others, including the mayor, before he himself was struck down. As soon as word broke of the tragedy, the question arose:

“What should I tell my children?”
In a community prayer vigil twenty-four hours later tens of thousands gathered across from the court house and across the city of St. Louis. If you listened closely, you could still hear the murmuring:

“What should I tell my children?”
Saturday came and regularity began to resume for most—not normalcy, but regularity. Regularity has to do with routines. Normalcy, with the way things used to be with which we had grown comfortable. After violence like this, things will never be like they used to be. Comfort will only slowly return. Congregations gathered to continue piecing things together. And as Jesus Christ’s matchless Name was invoked, you could hear the heart crying,

“What should I tell my children?”
One day Jesus looked at the crowds and saw them harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd and for one fleeting moment he asked himself,

“What should I tell my children?”
One day Jesus looked across the table when no one noticed and saw Judas dipping some bread in a bowl and wondered to himself,

“What should I tell my children?”
That same night he was betrayed Jesus was taken by soldiers. Stricken, smitten and afflicted, Jesus looked across a courtyard at Peter and when their eyes met, Jesus wondered,

“What should I tell my children?”
Then when the end was near, Jesus told this to his children:

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
And in response to the prayer, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom,” Jesus told another one standing next to him,

“Today you will be with me in paradise.”
And, when sin and evil and all the violence that flows from them was cursed, Jesus told the folks standing around him,

“It is finished.”
Then when Peter and the 10 other disciples were no where to be found, surely harassed and helpless like shepherds not worthy of ever having sheep entrusted to them again, Jesus said,

“Go and tell the disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
And then when all the disciples reassembled that night, with doors locked and windows shut tight, Jesus stood among them and told his children,

“Peace be with you.”

This is what God tells his children so that his children may be equipped to tell their children
the truth of God in the midst of chaos,
the heart of God amidst all the sadness, and
the will of God in the midst of human sin.

Jesus Christ is the truth, the heart and the will of God for the world.
We speak Jesus Christ to one another, just as God spoke Jesus Christ, His forgiveness and mercy to us. This is what God tells His children.

And God’s children say,
“Amen! Come quickly Lord Jesus”

THE PRAYER:Good Shepherd, my Lord Jesus Christ, let me hear clearly your voice in the midst of this world’s chaos. Calm my heart, ease my mind, confirm in me my place in your family because my sins are forgiven through your shed blood, broken body and empty tomb. Worthy are you of all worship. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 23-24    Matthew 28

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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