Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pray for a host congregation.

For over three years now, Holy Cross Lutheran Church has osed Holy Cross Blind Outreach, an outreach center affiliated with Lutheran Blind Mission. People all over the Kansas City, MO area have come for free meals of the month on the last Saturday of the month. They get to hear the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are often entertained or engaged by a speaker or musical performance. Some meals include a topic-driven discussion. For two hours on the final Saturday of the month, blind people get to see the Church extending very real human care in action.

Another group just across the boarder in Kansas City, KS longs to have an outreach center. After all, some of them came to our first few meals of the month until transportation got too difficult and inaccessible fto provide them. They, too, need the saving assurance of God's Word taught them in Bible studies and shown them in helping hands caring for their needs. There are vibrant folks who long to lead and direct such a group. What they need now is an host congregation. whose members can provide the nurture and Christian care they need.

Blind people make up 12-15 million people in the United State )d States. Only 5% of them are actively attending church on any given Sunday. Many of them do not know how to find access to reading materials, much less reading materials that convey the free message that Christ Jesus, God the Son, died to pay for their salvation.

The blindness community is a highly spiritual and yet isolated culture. While some who no longer attend church (since losing their sight) have clung to some form of historic Christianity, most have lapsed into an ecclectic and patchwork religion that one finds best described on "Oprah" or in "Embraced By The Light". Most blind people are angry and feel alienated by the Church.

We want to bring the unmitigated love of Jesus to them. We want to put Holy Scripture into their hands, too, that they may no longer fear the angry "God" of their conception and receive the free grace of the God revealed in Christ who says, "Come to me, all who are weary and are heavy-laden."

In this broken world torn apart by sin and its effects, the strong Word that cleaves our darkness remains the answer to our aimless wandering. May it be so for our blind and visually impaired friends in Kansas City, Kansas, too. May they have an outreach center and, God willing, be brought to the services of God's house to receive God's gifs of Word and Sacrament with us who worship together.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, you call us to fear, love, and trust in You alone. Yet, we turn in broken angst to fearing and cowering before so many things that would impede our hearing Your Word. Send pastors, lay leaders, and whole congregations to the blind and visually impaired to show them Your loving salvation free for trusting in You. Thwart Satan's attempts to further disband and isolate the blind and visually impaired. Give Your Church open hands and open doors to draw those lacking sight to behold You as Lord and Savior. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Meal Of The Month Speaker For April

We now know our speaker for the Holy Cross Blind Outreach meal of the month for April. He is Steve Otto from Gladstoe, MO. His father is pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Lee's Summit. Steve has told stories for home owners' associations and other local organizations in the Kansas City area.Stay tuned to see more news about April's meal.

Your outreach volunteers will be finalizing March's meal over the next few days.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's This 95% Thing?

The stats over the years say that 95% of blind&visually impaired people do not attend church services and are not active in a local congregation. That means that many blind/visually impaired do not hear the saving Gospel in the company of others. Sure, they are free to explore the plethera of expressions given to American spirituality on the TV. This means, though, their trus in God is clouded.

How counter to the stalwart clarity the purely taught Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims. (1 Cor. 2:5, Eph. 2:8-9, John 3:16) Those who, by virtue of their fears or ignorance of the transportation resources available to them, forsaking the company of fellow believers (Heb. 10:25), are not being freed through faith in Christ to rejoice in this clarity.

Put that against the bare, cold, uncompromising fact of which the apostle John writes in His first epistle, that whoever does not have the Son does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

The statistics should not do either of two things: 1. They should not reduce to mere statistics placarded on a bulletin's front cover. They tell the rea story of real people. Many who otherwise would hear the Gospel are bombarded with hours of confusion that is really no Gospel at all. (Gal. 1:8) 2. The statistic should not impel us only out of guilt to run headlong into doing mission work. Rather, the sheer desire to speak aloud the faith Christ Jesus has called us to confess puts us in places where the Word gets out to other people. God creates faith by means of His Word. He nurtures that faith through His Word read, spoken, cleansing, distributed.

Now, is the population of heaven and hell static? Yes. God knows for all time who will believe and who will not. We, in our finitude do do not know this number. Rather, our Lord has given us His blessed command and promise: "Go, there, make disciples of all nations" by means of "baptizing them and teaching everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you till the end of the age." (Matt. 28:19-20)

God, our One and Only Savior from sin, death, and the power of the devil calls us to proclaim His Gospel to those who do not know or trust it.

What's This 95