Broken, yet chosen.
Naphtali, like all of us, was dead in transgressions. The Resurrection and the Life bought him with His own precious blood. Purchased and won, Naphtali is broken no more, since God has claimed him to be His own child through the waters of Baptism.
Broken and discarded, yet chosen, a small white ark shell lays in the baptismal waters waiting to be employed to give life. Like so many shells on the seashore, this one was once home to a living creature. As happens, the shell was discarded as its inhabitant died or was eaten. Washed by the surf and deposited on land, this shell was chosen for the Baptismal font at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hyattsville, Md.
The shell’s juxtaposed beauty and brokenness testify to God’s work through means to save His people. The water of Baptism is just water, but with God’s command and His Word, this water brings life and salvation, the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit. Joined with the proclaimed Word, more simple elements, bread and wine, also serve to convey grace to broken people.
“Being Joy:Fully Lutheran is being called by God to proclaim His word and administer His sacraments to His people,” said the Rev. Eric Linthicum, pastor of Redeemer. “There is great joy in serving people who were born in places like, Missouri, Ireland, Mississippi, Ethiopia, Wisconsin, Germany, Washington DC, Eritrea, Ohio, Tanzania, Indiana, Liberia and Maryland to name but some of the birth places of members of Redeemer. We come together as one body using the liturgy and hymnody of the Church to be served by Him in the Divine Service. And to know, that this is just a foretaste of what awaits us in heaven. That is being Joy:Fully Lutheran!”
In Christ, all who are broken are made whole. All who are broken and discarded are called children and heirs. All who are dead are brought into the resurrection of Jesus. At Redeemer, the saints assembled are those whom God has called by His grace through His means into the fellowship of His Son Jesus. Themselves both broken and made whole, they find joy in both receiving the Means of Grace and bringing those means to the people in their lives. This joyful service leads to hymns of praise “…and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Rev 7: 9—12)