...that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:15-16
Last week, I had the opportunity of speaking to the graduating class of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Looking at those educated, enthusiastic men and their wives, I am thankful the Lord is preparing a new group of undershepherds to help serve and support His people.
His people are going to need them.
Why? Because the world is nuts. How nuts? Really, really nuts. Let me give an example. Last week in the state of Illinois, Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire had its first homosexual dance -- a dance sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Also last week, the Illinois High School Association banned prayer or religious messages over the public address system prior to IHSA tournament games. That ban stands even when those games are hosted at private schools, even when both teams are from Christian schools, and even when both teams agree to pray and have done so in the past.
So, let me get this right: public homosexual dances at Illinois public high schools are okay, but public prayers are forbidden? I get confused. I don't understand why I'm supposed to be open-minded about a homosexual dance, but nobody is supposed to be open-minded about prayer?
Yes, the Lord is going to need some courageous clergy, and He's going to be counting on a host of dedicated laity if those who come after us are to be "children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation." There is little doubt the next generation is being given a tremendous task that is going to call for a great faith in the Savior and the Holy Spirit who touches sinful hearts.
God grant, as St. Paul wrote, that pastors and those who serve Him may hold fast to the Word of life and shine as lights in this dark world. Then, by God's grace may the story of salvation be believed as God's gracious good news of great joy for everyone.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, I don't always understand the world and its priorities. For that I give thanks. Now I pray for Your future followers. May they be given strength to stand in the faith, reflecting the light of the Savior to a dark world. In Jesus' Name.
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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries