302 N Goliad   Rockwall, TX  75087   214-716-7539

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. GLORY AND GRACE - We have all done some preparing to celebrate the 5ooth anniversaryof the Reformation this month.
We have watched one of the Luther movies or documentaries. We have read a Luther
biography. We have visited important
Reformation sites in Germany. We have
used Luther's Small Catechism for daily
devotions. We have studied with others
the 95 Theses, those statements Luther
offered as guide to discuss the place and
purpose of the sale of indulgences in the
life of the Church. As a final act of
preparation for the celebration to come,
let's consider Theses
# 62. Luther wrote, "the true treasure of the Church is the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God. "

    God's glory and grace, Luther would

consider Gospel. Glory serves as an
English translation of the Hebrew word,
shekinah. Shekinah in the Old Testament
refers to the physical presence of God.
Hence, God's glory or shekinah came and
settled upon Mt. Zion or later came filled
the Temple. God's glory gave proof of
God's presence.

When young, Martin Luther pictured God
as an angry judge. Luther wondered how he could stand in the presence of angry
judging God and not receive condemnation for his many sins. Luther actually did
express fear and dread of God almighty.
Yet, as Luther continued to study the
Scriptures, the Spirit opened Luther's eyes
to see, his mind to know and his heart to
believe that God did not want to condemn
him as a sinner but to save him from the
eternal consequence of his sin. God was
gracious. God, the almighty creator of heaven and earth, gave his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to save sinners. God's own dear Son Jesus Christ gave his life up to death upon the cross of Calvary on every sinner's behalf and rose from death to life on Easter for every sinner's' benefit and became that savior. God's Holy Spirit gives every bellever that faith which dings to Jesus Christ as Savior and follows Jesus Christ as Lord in this life, through physical death to eternal life. This was all grace. God Father, Son and Spirit acted
graciously. And God's glory, God's very presence, no longer frightened Luther. Rather God's glory, God's very presence, filled Luther with joy, gave him hope, offered him peace., He counted it a privilege to read and study. to preach and teach the Scriptures filled with and revealing the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to all. Through the Scripture God actually reached out touched and grabbed those who believed. He eagerly accepted Jesus' invitation to partake of the Holy Supper. Luther gratefully. received Jesus his Savior and Lord in, with and under those forms of bread and wine and in receiving Jesus reaped the benefits of Jesus' own cross death and Easter triumph; namely forgiveness, life and salvation. All this giving by God Luther named as grace. Hencethe glory and grace of God, Luther could describe as the most holy Gospel. Let'scelebrate this treasure of the Church, "the most holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.'" Let's celebrate together!