By Rev. Ted Laesch, Chapel of the Cross – Lutheran, St Louis, MO
Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation…” (John 16:33)
You don’t have to look far to see it, feel it, experience it: tribulation. Broken relationships, sicknesses, tragedy, financial difficulties, disease, death — there is no shortage of tribulation in this world. And it comes to all of us. Jesus did not say that you might have tribulation. He didn’t say that you will probably have tribulation. He said, you will have tribulation.
But lest we run and hide, cry and complain, lose hope and give in to despair from the impending tribulation that we will undoubtedly undergo, hear what else Jesus has to say:
“…But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
No matter the trouble, no matter the hurt, no matter the pain, no matter the tribulation, we have the blessed assurance that Jesus has won the victory — He has overcome the devil. He has overcome sin. He has overcome death. He has overcome the world. And in those times of tribulation — as we go through crises and disasters and tragedies — He gives comfort and peace. And often, He gives that comfort and peace through brothers and sisters in Christ. He gives that comfort and peace through you. Take heart! He says. I have overcome the world.
Last fall, Chapel of the Cross, through a generous grant from the English District and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, received a disaster trailer outfitted with tools and equipment necessary to help those in our community who are going through tribulation brought on by a natural disaster. A Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) was also trained and continues to train to be ready to share that comfort and peace of Christ with their ministry of presence and cleaning and clearing and fixing and caring and loving. The LERT team is one way God says to His people: Take heart! I love you. I care for you. You are my special children. And remember, I have overcome the world.”
If you would like to know more about Chapel’s LERT group and serving God and His people in this way, please contact Chapel’s LERT Team Captain: Ken Kreitner (314-741-3559).
Do you have a mission or ministry experience you would like to share? If so, you, too, could be a guest blogger for the English District. For consideration, please send an email to Lynne Cobb, Communications Coordinator for the English District LCMS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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