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    Rev. Cameron Schnarr

Beautiful Savior Lutheran School

Lutheran Church Canada - What do you believe?

LCC - Lutheran Church Canada

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, Canada
Child of God

Child of God

Based on 1 John 3:1-3

Preached on May 5, 2015

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In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dearest baptized children of the Heavenly Father, the courts of heaven ring with the joyful voices of God's children. They are safe there in their Father's care. Careless themselves like little ones, running here and there with excitement and glee, sheltered by the presence of the watchful One, untroubled by any worry or thought, knowing full well and never doubting that Dad is with them.

Many of you have known Mildred for much longer than I have, but as her pastor, sitting at her bedside and watching her here amongst her church family, I can tell you one of Mildred's favourite joys is children. My wife and I were reminiscing of dear Millie, and some of our fondest memories of her surround our little girl Hannah shortly after she began walking. Hannah would toddle up and down the aisles of the church here, and Millie would chase her down so she could talk to her, and hold her and interact with her. Hannah was happy to oblige, and this pleased Millie immensely. Her delight in little ones was so strong, that even a year later, once she had begun to forget where she was, and who was with her, when I would visit, one of the first questions she would ask was, "How are your children? How is your little girl?"

It is a beautiful truth, and a comforting fact, that this fascination and attention towards children came from her heavenly Father. It is His fascination. His attention towards us, that was working itself out even in her. She loved little ones, because her heavenly Father loves her.

And it is about this love that St. John writes, that Mildred resonates with, that we can marvel at this afternoon. See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. The animals are not called children of God. The angels are not called children of God. The kind of love our Father has given to us is different. He calls us children. He calls Mildred His child.

What is this Fatherly love? What kind of love does St. John call us to see? Beloved, your Father's love is His Son. His Son whom He sent into our death. Into our sin and our shame and that gaping hole we made between Him and us. The Son of God did not become an angel. He became a man, so that He might bring back His Father's children. So that He might hang in gap. Spread His arms before Father and children and reconcile us to Him forever. The Father saw His children dead in our sin. He beheld His dead rebellious children and out of compassion sent His Only Son, the Only righteous One, to be punished for us and bring us back to life. This is the love the Father has given to you, even Jesus, that you should be called His child.

The Father tended and nourished Mildred here in His holy house, with His holy family. He carried her in His mighty arms through every evil. Now even death. This has not separated her from God. For the very reason Christ was put into death only to rise again was to make death a doorway. He has made Himself the door so that His apostle John could say "Beloved, we are God's children now." Not when we die. But right now. Death merely seals the deal. It completes His work because He has made death the entrance into His paradise through His own death and resurrection - through His very body that hung on the cross.

The body of Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord, fills the gap forever. In Him we are no longer separated. In Him death no longer beats us. In Him we are saved forever.

And Mildred was put into His body. Set there. Secured in Him in the waters of Holy Baptism. That is why we remembered that truth at the beginning of the service, and why the sign of the cross is made by the baptized. For there in the waters our Father unites us to His Son, so fully, so purposefully, that He may call us His children. As we confessed together, "If we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His."

This is all that awaits now. For Mildred and for those of us who are in Christ. We are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! For on that day, Mildred, and you and I and all the faithful, whom the Father has put inside His Son, shall rise and be seen like Jesus, body and soul restored and glorified. And that day shall be the beginning of our eternal celebration in the many rooms of the Father's house.

Dearest baptized children of the Heavenly Father, the courts of heaven ring with the joyful voices of God's children. They are safe there in their Father's care, knowing full well that He is with them.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Cameron Schnarr