Comfort and Joy
That phrase is usually sung during the Advent and Christmas Season. The season we are in is Lent and that is to be a time to reflect, remember, repent and return to the Lord. So, why do I title this blog post Comfort and Joy? This past week has been filled with lessons, from the Dorcas Ladies Group LCMS study title “Joy:full Lutheran” to the Ladies Bible Study at Faith Lutheran’s study for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, lessons that brought me comfort and joy.
In the one lesson, the writer spoke of struggling with recognizing they are a “poor, miserable sinner”, as the Confession in our Liturgy puts in, while in the other lesson it was a struggle to find the balance of justification and sanctification. This struggle ended with an element of “pride in what we have done or an element of doubt that we have done enough.” Both of these I could relate to.
In the one lesson, the writer struggled with their sins and not wanting to remember them weekly, as is the start of the Divine Service each week for Lutherans, and only wanting the “glory” and joyous or happy sentiments. Rather than focusing on the Cross, the sins Christ took upon Himself for the world, a world of sinners, some want to move past that to some type of happy-clappy Christianity or glory. Lutherans call this a Theology of Glory; heaven here below. Often, in more evangelical and especially Pentecostal and Charismatic styled churches the focus is on all the blessings (usually physical, monetary etc) and power to be experienced here below.