Volume 12, Issue 15Click here to download pdf format
B.A.S.I.C. –DECEMBER 2014
Greetings in the name and for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers And Sisters In Christ, it is my privilege to write to you on behalf of the CLC Board of Missions. This past June, the CLC met in convention and discussed with joy the privilege we have in working together, shoulder to shoulder, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ! The delegates at convention elected two new members to the Board of Missions. Mr. Joel Krafft and Pastor Nathanael Mayhew replace Mr. Jack Mayhew and Pastor Mark Gullerud. We join all of you in thanking the Lord for the dedicated service that both Mr. Mayhew and Pastor Gullerud gave to the Lord. And we ask for your continued prayers for wisdom, love, and guidance for those who currently serve with me on the Board of Missions.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10
Christmas is a time for rejoicing and a time when we dress up ourselves and everything else it seems. Just look around this time of year and you will see Christmas trees, and decorations, and little children and adults dressed in their finest clothes. Here in the U.S. you see homes, and businesses, and parks, and shopping malls all decked out for Christmas.
Dressing up for Christmas, or any other occasion for that matter, indicates that something special is taking place. Some events require that we put on our very best so that we are prepared to enter into that special occasion.
Maybe you have heard someone who was getting ready for a special occasion say something like this: “I just don’t have anything to wear!” Well, it’s not that this person has any real lack of clothing, even good clothing. A quick survey of most of our wardrobes would reveal a vast assortment of clothing that would do just fine. No, it isn’t that we haven’t a thing to wear, really. The trouble is we feel as if what we do have is somehow sub-par or unfit or inadequate for the occasion.
That may or may not be true of you in a fashion sense. But in another sense we’d all have reason to wonder about what we’ve worn to celebrate our Savior’s birth. And I’m not talking about our clothes. I’m talking about our spiritual condition before God.
God’s word certainly teaches us that we are both unworthy to celebrate His birth and at the same time reveals that the perfect clothing has been provided.
The prophet Isaiah reminds of our sinful condition without the Lord…“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6
The best of our deeds, the greatest that this world and our lives have to offer is still miserably inadequate to dress us up and make us presentable before God. Which ought to make it abundantly clear that not just anything will do before the Lord. Not just any place will have what you need.
Jesus taught an important lesson concerning how we are to come before our God and who will provide the proper attire. I’m thinking of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22. As Jesus tells the story, the King looks out at all of his guests and notices a single man who was there, but wasn’t wearing the garment that he had provided for his guests. He had clothes, but not the appropriate attire. “Friend,” he asked, “how did you get in here without wedding clothes?” The man is speechless. And then receiving no answer the king said to his servants, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him outside. Into the darkness with him where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Parables are word pictures of what it’s like in the kingdom of God. And the picture is clear. Not just any religious garb that we’re offered is sufficient. No robe of righteousness that we have fashioned or imagined for ourselves can ever hope to cover every spot and stain that sin has brought upon us.
But there is one that does, a robe that is sufficient in every way, the robe provided by our Lord Himself, woven in His love, washed in His own blood, sweat and tears.
That’s what God’s Word recorded in Isaiah 61:10 reveals to us as we think of Incarnation of our Savior along with the reasons He was born into this sinful world. Jesus became true man for one important reason. To provide what we could never provide for ourselves. He provides a robe unblemished with human sin, having been fashioned after Christ’s perfect life that was lived in our place. It’s a robe embellished with the life of love and the works of charity and compassion that Jesus carried out in His lifetime.
This robe is made of all the right stuff and is the right fit too. It’s a robe that’s been made to cover the filth of a world’s sin and shame; that’s been designed to resist the wrinkles that want to warp and pervert; that’s been made to make a statement of who we belong to and from whence we have come.
The Christmas gift we celebrate is that we have received the robe of Christ’s righteousness. God has stripped away our sins and laid them on Jesus to be paid for and He has given to us the righteousness of our Savior Jesus
Rejoice at Christmas time. But remember also to rejoice tomorrow and forever, knowing by Faith that you are ALL DRESSED UP IN THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST! Amen
I pray that the Lord will bless each of you, your families, and the souls you have been called to serve!
On behalf of your brothers and fellow servants of the Savior of the CLC Board of Missions,
Pastor Todd Ohlmann, CLC Board of Missions Chairman