“Repent, and Believe the Gospel” – said Jesus Christ
A Special Coronavirus Message from Chad England, Head Elder at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
During our Ash Wednesday service here at St. Peter’s, an ashen cross was placed on our forehead with these words recited: “Repent, and Believe the Gospel.” It is the theme of this time of the year, Lent, the forty days preceding Easter. We are called as believers to reflect, to pray, to fast, and to give alms. We look at our ourselves, our shortcomings, and we recognize them, repenting before God. We detach ourselves from the “loss” of this world, as St. Paul describes it. After pointing out all that he had as a Jew, as blameless under the righteousness of the Law, his zeal as a persecutor of the Church, he writes:
“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Phillipians 3: 8-11
As the coronavirus wreaks havoc upon our lives, disrupting everything that we do, we should be encouraged to take this time and reflect. We read these words of St. Paul and ponder the surpassing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ above all things. We recognize as Christians that it is FAITH IN CHRIST and his eternal promises that strengthens us. He is the ultimate help, He is Righteousness, and He is hope and comfort; indeed, “a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
As we work through these troubling times currently upon us, reflect upon the important things in life. We listen to the authorities, God’s appointed for our good, and do what we must. But as we are doing so, nervous, uncertain, and perplexed at times, we hearken back to the Lenten message and focus on the second part; “Believe the Gospel.” Jesus died for our sins. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He “…will never leave us or forsake us.” Hebrews 13:5.
During this troubling time, and there will be more in our lives, indeed, call upon Jesus. Find TRUE comfort. Discover the “peace that surpasses all understanding.” Call upon the only salvation for the world.
St. Peter’s invites you to reach out to us. We share with you this Lenten message, and remind you that Easter is coming.
“Repent, and Believe the Gospel.”
God’s Blessings to all.