25 Jan 2013 by Natasha Kim-
Note: Amendment was made for sentence 'Protestants are similar to many Lutherans" on 1 Feb 2013
Protestants are similar to many Lutherans; both identify with the theology of Martin Luther. It all began when Martin Luther started a reform movement in the Christian church. The key themes of that reform effort were justified by scripture alone, faith alone, grace alone, Christ alone, glory to God alone, which continue to be central to how believers live and teach the Christian faith at Luther House Chapel.
Luther House Chapel may be small but it is a part of a much larger Lutheran Church in Malaysia and Singapore (LCMS). The congregation was established in the 1970’s, bringing together more than 50 communities of believers in Malaysia. In year 2009, they moved into their present humble location in SS4C, Petaling Jaya.
Entering the Church, one can observe that is it definitely a family-oriented church. Currently, they only have one service which is at 8.30 a.m. every Sunday. In this particular service, I was privileged to attend a more traditional service; they also have a contemporary service as well for those who would like to join. Their solemn service began with the singing of hymns and the reading of the Gospel.
As a Lutheran Church, they come from a rich tradition of focusing on God's Word. However, tradition does not bind them but allows them to share the good news of Jesus in our contemporary ways today.
Jesus First Miracle
Rev. Augustin preached today and talked about one of the first miracles that Jesus made. Jesus, His Disciples and Mary were invited to a wedding.
“One of the key things that we need to understand about this wedding is that Jewish weddings can stretch for as long as a week or even two!” said Rev. As the wedding went on for days, the wine slowly ran out, which is an encroaching omen if it did run out!
Mary hoped that Jesus would do something about it, but Jesus replied by calling her “Woman” and asked the reason she asked this favour from Him. Jesus told her clearly that His hour has not yet come. The fact that he called her “Woman” significantly shows the distance He placed between them. Mary, on the other hand, was not offended nor put off by Jesus’ words.
But she simply turned to the servants and instructed them, “Whatever He tells you, do it.” She did not argue with Him, for He had made His point. She did not plead with Him. By her words, it appeared that she left her request in His hands to deal in the way He sees fit.
“Only a mother regardless of how much she was hurt, would still say, “He is going to do something,” said Rev.
With that, Jesus then used water for washing and told the servants to draw out some and serve them to the master. After the people tried the wine, they were surprised that they tasted the best wine! Jesus can change ordinary things into the best of wines!
Patience is a Virtue and the ones who have it are truly Blessed
Moving into this New Year, we begin to realize that nothing much has changed at work, at home, or in the society. We face the same issues and problems since last year. Then, we begin to wonder where the hope is.
“Will God do something after so many years of silence? From the Book of Malachi until the New Testament, it was 400 years before He spoke again,” Rev. said.
The story above was the first miraculous sign that Jesus performed in Canaan of Galilee. He did this to show His glory and so His disciples would put their faith in Him.
“The book of Deuteronomy is very clear, the seven parables were written down so that you could believe. There’s a point to the miracle, Jesus does not introduce miracles in our life so that we can feel better.” said Rev.
Lazarus was raised from the dead but he died in the end. The man who was cured from his eye sight died too in the end. At the end of the day, miracles are given to us not because life will get better but because God knows that life will get worse as time goes by. Everything is a part of God’s plan.
God came to show His glory and who He is, so that we can put our faith in Him because He cares for all of us. That sort of caring may not be the way that we want Him to care.
“Our children would love it if we did not send them to school, or feed them desserts every day, but would that be caring?” said Rev. citing an example.
God loves us.
“The core of the miracle is that Jesus can use the most common things, the things that we have given up hope in, the things that we take for granted… He can take those mountains and make them into the best, possible,” said Rev.
He cares for us so much that he is able to pay attention to every detail that happens in our life and give us hope from there in hopelessness.
“Do we see who Jesus is in our day-to-day lives and in our 2013? When the magic begins to fade, can we put our faith in him and can we hold on to him even when things are dry? As we come to the Lord today, we are called by name and we are invited to the special feast of the Lords.” said Rev.
Although we have nothing to give and can only receive, He gives us the ability to come as we are, with all our flaws and faults and gives us the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
For more information about Luther House Chapel please visit http://www.lutherhouse.org.my/