One Saturday morning, Shirley and I gazed in shock at the sign outside our church. A vandal had broken in and rearranged its letters so that instead of giving information about God and the church, it screamed obscenities. Shirley asked, “Don’t they know? Don’t they realize that the church is here for them?”
Long after we had restored the lettering, I finally found an answer to her rhetorical question: “No. No, they don’t know about the church and its ministry. If they did know Jesus Christ, then they would not deface our sign.”
The late Lutheran theologian, Gerhard Forde, someplace wrote words to this effect: The unproclaimed God is a monster who will inevitably earn obscenities like those defacing our church sign, for the unproclaimed God is a projection of ourselves.
You and I and everyone else need to hear that the One who created everything-and can destroy it all-now forgives sin.
Let’s proclaim the cross of Christ. It’s our sign for our times. It’s inscribed upon our brows. It shapes our lives. It’s the content of faith and life.
O God, by the cross of your Son, embrace this fallen world. Send your Spirit to empower and propel us to tell of your redeeming love. Amen. — CR