Our Mission...... As men, women, and children united in faith in Christ Jesus, we believe he commanded us to “go and make disciples.” We therefore will proclaim the Gospel of Christ through our words and actions to the community, campus, and others. We will teach God’s word in its truth and purity to help each other grow and mature in faith preparing us, God’s people, for “works of service.”
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, River Falls, WI
545 Apollo Road
River Falls, WI 54022
As Pastor Clayton Welch's last sermon at Faith Lutheran, he shares a different perspective on King Solomon in 1 Kings 11:1-10 by sharing how it is indeed a Christmas message for us. If Solomon can ignore two direct visits from God giving him direction, how will you do?
As he was in his humiliation, so are we in his kingdom on earth. Here there is lowliness like his before a petty and very temporary governor. Here there is little outward display of his power, little to see of his kingdom’s beauty. What then is there? There is the bearing witness to the truth! That’s what he did. That’s what we are called to do in following after him. That truth is all of his Word. Anything apart from it or contrary to it is a lie, is of the devil, is an attempt to snatch glory that is worldly and perishing. Only the truth of his Word brings us into his kingdom and keeps us there. Only bearing witness to that truth serves him, who bore witness to it for us and for our salvation.
How tragic! This young man was concerned about the law of God and devoted himself to it. Still he was under its curse. How tragic! The disciples loved Jesus and spent years with him. Yet they too were in danger of missing the whole point of his coming. The root of the problem for both was the same: failure to love God alone. We fix our hearts on the temporal and perishing at the expense of complete devotion to God and the eternal. Thus we are all doomed and damned by the law. The young man went away sad. The disciples stayed and cried out to Jesus on their despair. The young man did not hear that God does the impossible, and therefore did not come to trust in God’s divine agent for doing that impossible. May our confession be as desperate as that of the disciples; for our condition is the same. May our trust be in him alone who does the impossible.
Even the one who is God Incarnate expected to suffer. He knew the depths of his coming sorrow. But he embraced it. For by it he would enter into his glory, namely, the glory of his office as our Savior. Any suggestion that he should do otherwise could come only from the devil. He who suffered the cross for us also has assured us that we too will suffer the cross in consequence of following him. It is likewise of the devil to expect that is should be otherwise. For to seek or expect escape from our cross ends in a denial of his cross and its saving benefit. Notice that Jesus promises his cross and the cross for the disciples at exactly that moment when their faith in him was most confident and secure. Moments of peace are moments of preparation for the cross, not ends in themselves.
Behold our humble Savior with his lowly Word. He endures it with patience and sadness that even his countrymen and relatives reject him; but still he continues to proclaim the Word. What a comfort to those who preach Jesus and his Word faithfully, and see few immediate results! Christ does not change the Word to become popular; for that would cost far too much—even the loss of our salvation. Jesus could not do many miracles near his home, because the people would not listen to the Word. Let us not repeat this latter monstrous crime, and so hinder that saving work of Christ and his Word in us.