April 2017

Victory in Christ

“His appearance was like lightning, and His clothing white as snow” (Matthew 28:3).

          On April 16th we celebrate the victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Gospel reading will be from Matthew 28. With Jesus Christ as our leader, let us be comforted, enthralled, and secured that His appearance is powerful, “like lightening,” and all that He touches is so pure that it is “white as snow.” This truth strengthens us as we transverse hardship, sickness, pain, insecurity, etc. in this fallen in sin world.

          When our children were between two and fourteen years old, Charlotte and I thought that it would be a good experience to take part in an Idaho Fish and Game program of raising baby pheasants. We borrowed my parents’ heat lamps and 4’ by 8’ wooden box that they had used for chicks. The baby pheasants were very attractive and hearty. They ate well and grew fast.

          They were more active than the baby chickens that I had previously experienced. The day came when they had some adult flight feathers and were too cramped in their box. The children asked: “Where will we release them? Will they be safe? Can they fly yet? Will we still feed and water them?” These and many other questions came from our children as they were involved with this project. A farmer at our church told us about a row of trees on his property that had some cover, food, and water nearby. Sounded good! The farmer also made a comment about the pheasants becoming food for the fox and coyote. This did not sound so good, yet they had to get out of that box.

          We loaded up the birds, the rest of their food, and took them to the row of trees. When we let them out they ran, flew 10-20 yards, and scattered quickly. We were glad to be part of encouraging the pheasant population. However, I did ponder if those adolescent pheasants’ instincts were developed enough for any of them to survive. Through the years I had watched pheasant hens lead their broods. The hens would hide in tall grass and in ditches. They would run along in those ditches and run or fly out away from potential danger. The adolescent pheasants we released had no leader and the forces against them were many.

          You and I were shielded, not in a 4’ by 8’ box, but in a home. There came the day we were sent into the world; however, most people still had their parents to provide direction.  If not their parents there were a variety of proper mentors that could help guide us on our path. This is similar to the young pheasants with the hen. Yet even for the guided young pheasants, only a few survive until fall. Now some people do not have, or have rejected, reliable parents and mentors. This puts them in the environment of the adolescent pheasants that we released, facing even more danger.

          Praise God that we have Jesus Christ with all His power (“lightning”) and purity (“white as snow”).  He guides us in His Word that is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training” (2 Timothy 3:16). Jesus also secures us by touching us with His Word attached to Baptismal water as well as touching us with His true Body and Blood in, with, and under the forms of bread and wine. He is Victorious! As Christians we are co-heirs with Christ. His power and purity are ours. Amen. 

The Lord be with you,

Pastor Sam Wiseman