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Promises

April 23, 2020

“For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” Acts 2:39

Yes, this is my favorite picture from our wedding day. It seems to capture, with a bit of humor, the spirit of two kids who didn’t quite know what they were in for but who made promises to be in it together, whatever it would be.

The past 13.5 years have seen us move from Wisconsin to South Carolina, from South Carolina to Illinois. They’ve given us Greta, Anders, and Torsten, who make the world immeasurably better. The years have seen highs and lows. Joys and sorrows. Lots of laughter (mostly directed at me). And there have been days when we’ve had to lean on the promises we made to each other, because somedays are “or for worse” days.

At some point in a wedding homily, I usually say something like, “There will be days when you won’t feel very loving, days when you won’t feel very lovable. Love each other anyway.” That’s why we make vows. They call us to be the people we want to be for the people we love the most.

Of course, humans don’t always keep their promises. I think that one of the defining characteristics of God is that God is the only One who can and does keep promises at all times. They are ironclad. Failsafe. For the promises of God have been sealed with the blood of the covenant, shed on Calvary’s cross.

At the end of Peter’s inaugural sermon (from our reading for this coming Sunday), the people ask what they should do. Repent and be baptized, Peter declares, “for the promise is for you.” In your baptism, God made an indelible promise to you, one that did not fade when the water dried from your forehead: You are a child of God. Full stop.

There is nothing that can undo God’s promise, nothing that can separate you from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. God promises, and God fulfills.

Pandemic doesn’t change this. Peter proclaims that the promise is true, for you, no matter how far away you are. Take comfort, friends. God will deliver you, for the sake of Christ, because God has promised to do so.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of the covenant, thank you coming to us. You have given us life, even though we don’t deserve it. You promise to be with us, even when we try to run away. Renew our hearts, Lord, that we would live as signs of your promise in the world today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

From → COVID-19

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