I read a portion from Luther yesterday that still rings today. With regard to the Gospel appointed for last Sunday from John 16, he writes: “There are many kinds of sorrow on earth, but the deepest of all sorrows is when the heart loses Christ, and He is no longer seen, and there is no hope or comfort from Him.”
I expect that most Christians would nod in agreement. And why is this? Because by the power of the Holy Spirit for faith through the Gospel, they know things that the rest of the world doesn’t. They know that without Christ, there is no hope. They know that apart from Him, there is the extreme incapability for joy in the midst of this world’s terrors. They know that to separate from Him is to be starved of the nourishing forgiveness and grace that He desires to give in order that we would be His own and live under Him in joy.
When the heart loses this, there is emptiness.
Summer is coming. With that, there will be many opportunities set before each of us to take a break from being where Christ is given through Word and Sacrament for the strengthening of faith and the fruits of comforting hope. As always, I encourage you to remain faithful in worship attendance. Be where Christ is with His gifts. Don’t hide Him from yourself or your family. And if you know you will be away, do what you can to find an LCMS church and be present there for worship. Of course, if you need help with this, let me know. I’ll find a place for you to visit while you’re on vacation, at a tournament, or visiting relatives. It would be my pleasure to do this.