Good morning everyone. So, we are now into our fourth or fifth week of being “shutdown” here in Nebraska. Christians sometimes wonder if this pandemic is an indication that we at the end, meaning the end of the world. Well, as Lutherans, we are not into “picking dates” or “assigning the time” of our Lord’s return. That said, we do know that Jesus got very specific about the things that would signal his return. He spoke of “the distress of nations” of “earthquakes” of “ famine and pestilences” of “wars and rumors of wars.”
But then he said this: “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). He also said to his disciples, “Don’t be afraid, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
We rest in that promise and all of God’s promises, because, let’s face it; left to ourselves we would all became faint of heart. This coronavirus stuff has really messed with our lives. It has messed with our daily schedules and routines. We all worry about loved ones in the “vulnerable” category. We all miss each other. I know I miss all of you. I love the Lord’s church and I love going to church. I love preaching the Word. I love dispensing and receiving the Lord’s Supper. I hated being separated from you yesterday. Oh, how we long for the day when this blasted plague will be over and we can reassemble as God’s people.
We all long for that day, and yet we find our hearts to be fearful at times too. So we say, “Yes, Lord, I believe in you. I trust in you. Help my unbelief.” That too is a prayer of faith, isn’t it? So, hang on. Cast all your anxiety on him. Believe me, his shoulders are big enough. If he can carry the weight of our sin, he can, and will, see us through this too. Will you think on these things? Amen.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine