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Go Get It (It's Your Time)

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The Promise of the Gospel is God's more sure Word to us and to our children

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Learning From children

Martin Luther found great comfort in and inspiration from his children. Disturbed and depressed by his enemies, one day he noticed little Martin nursing in his mother’s arms and remarked, “Child, your enemies are the Pope, the Bishops, Duke George, Ferdinand, and the devil. And there you are … unconcerned.” Even as he noticed his child’s complete trust, he realized his own anxiety was unwarranted; God had promised to protect him.

On another occasion Luther came upon Anasthasia, his four-year-old, prattling away about Christ, angels, and heaven. Whereupon the noted churchman said, “My dear child, if only one could hold fast to this faith.” Quickly she replied, “Why, Papa, don’t you believe it?” Luther was shocked and later wrote, “Christ has made the children our teachers.”

Luke 18:15–17 ESV
15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

I Wish...

Have you ever wished that you could be something else? When I was a child, I wished to be an adult. I thought about all the cool grown-up things that I would do - drive a car, live in a fancy house, eat Twinkies for breakfast and Burger King for dinner....
Now I wish that I were young again. I look at my son, and wish that I could have only to focus on chores, classes and sports, knowing that someone else - me - will take care of everything else. My daughters know that they can get their hearts’ desires met by coming to me.
I want to look at Our Father in Heaven like they look at me, but the cares of life and this worlds goods choke the Word that creates such faith in them. I can be like Peter, getting out of the boat simply on Christ’s Word, then getting distracted by the wind and waves. And yet, the child-like cry, “Lord, save me” brought the immediate divine response ().
It is that Word of God, the Word that comforts me in my afflictions, that Ascension pledges to plant in Gary, Indiana’s children. We will help your children to know that God is even more trustworthy than the iron-clad rules of math, more solid than the firm rules of English, more relevant than the recordings of history. Ascension Lutheran Christian School exists to teach children that Jesus loves them, that He is their God, because He is Emmanuel/God-with-Us.
Shortly before his death and Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land, Moses addressed his beloved people, the nation of Israel, for the last time. Deuteronomy is the record of that address. It includes the words that were passed on from parent to child, from generation to generation, the confession of the nation:
Deuteronomy 6:4–7 ESV
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Those words were the heart of catechism for Jesus as a little boy, as for generations of Hebrew boys both before Him and to this day. In like manner, Dr. Luther’s Small Catechism took the Gospel truths of the Reformation, and fitted them for the ears of a child from the lips of a father. Through it, the 10 Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, are presented to “train up a child in the way that they should go.” We will take that charge as seriously as we take the charge to educate these children in the disciplines of Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Art, and everything else.
That is because we believe, teach, and confess that this is not the only time we have. We know that, according to God’s sure Word, Jesus Christ died so that we could live eternally, then rose again so that we could know that eternal life is real. Peter preached that message on the day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:36–39 ESV
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

It’s For Me, Too!

That promise is as sure today as it was on that day, and it is still for you, and for these children, and for those who are afar off. No matter how far away from the Lord you might feel yourself to be, no matter how hurt you are, or how much you may have hurt others, this word is near to you, this promise is for you.
As little children, come unto Him, and let Him heal you. Come unto Him, and let Him set you free. Come unto Him, and let him raise you up from those things in this life that have pushed you down. This is Ascension, the place where, as we declare beginning on Easter Sunday, He is risen, He is risen indeed, Hallelujah! The Son of Righteousness, Malachi called Him, with healing in His wings, will heal you within these walls as you hear His word and receive it as being for you.
And may the peace of God, that passes understanding, guard your hearts and minds, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
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