This morning as we left the service men received a gift, a booklet, “Blueprints for Life.” We left with something tangible in hand.
Earlier, when we took communion, we received a piece of bread in our hand, something tangible, yet more, the Body of Christ something intangible. With that bread/body and the wine/blood we received forgiveness of sin, and the tangible/intangible grace of Life and salvation through faith in the One we received in that bread and wine.
Still earlier we received something totally intangible gift. The forgiveness of all our sins, all the ways we messed up this past week and going back for as long as we have lived. We also left with those words. Luther said in a sermon on St. Matthews Day, “It is easily said, forgiveness of sins. We need to diligently study what those words means. If it only could be won and done with words! But when we have a serious encounter, suddenly we find that we know nothing of this forgiveness. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, which I can only grasp with my heart, namely, that all my sins are forgiven and that through this faith I am justified before God. This is not a quality which is already in a person’s heart or soul; we must learn and grasp with faith that we are redeemed and made just through the forgiveness of sins.”