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I don't understand it, but I'm glad it's for you and me!

Built on a Rock
Pastor Andrew Palmquist, Bethany Lutheran Church, Luverne

Imagine putting a cute guinea pig (a favorite pet in our house!) down in an advanced math class and trying to teach the “piggie” a complex formula that was written on the whiteboard. It would be pretty difficult, if not impossible, for the pet to understand the formula. It simply would be beyond its comprehension.
Like that furry rodent, there are quite a few things in life that we have difficulty understanding. For example, where does color come from? How much air is in the earth’s atmosphere? How much water is contained in the oceans? What is on the other side of a black hole? Or how large is the universe?
There is something else that we cannot fully understand, and yet it is also very wonderful – God’s love and peace.
You see, sadly, by nature we are enemies of God. We are born and conceived in sin. We desire and carry out actions which God tells us not to do. And we often ignore that which God wants us to do.  These sinful actions, desires, attitudes, and words all warrant God’s anger and demand punishment.
Here is the part we cannot understand – despite people’s enmity and sin toward God, he continued to love us anyway. God carried out an act of love that was so awesome, so amazing, it is beyond our understanding.
The Almighty God allowed his one and only Son to become one of us, yet without sin. This is the great mystery of the incarnation. This is what we celebrate at Christmas! Jesus, the Christ-child is Immanuel, “God with us” in human flesh. He came to be our substitute, our brother, our Savior. He cried for us, experienced hunger, hurt, and tears for us, he even bled for us.
Only this God-man Jesus could establish peace between God and humans, and the cost would be enormous – his life. It transcends our understanding, yet as a grown man, on Good Friday, Christ, though perfectly innocent, suffered and died on the cross to save sinners – you and me!
Then just as he promised, Jesus arose from the dead three days later, proving that you and I have indeed been reconciled to God. We have true peace. In Christ you are no longer God’s enemy, but his dearly loved child!
What is more, God the Holy Spirit provides you with faith to trust in what your Savior has accomplished! He does this through his Word and blessed sacraments. Our peace is strong and certain, not because it is based on human reasoning or intelligence, but because it is established and provided by our loving heavenly Father.
You and I cannot fully comprehend this wonderful peace from God, yet we believe and know that it is true, for our Lord Jesus has assured us that we have a place reserved for us in the glories of heaven! Join us in God’s House this Advent and Christmas as we await the coming of our Savior-King!
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

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