by Stan C. Lemon
A storm has brewed and struck the Golf coast, a storm called Katrina. This storm destroyed everything in its path and has caused problems that compound each day. Katrina is God's Judgment and it has been poured out on sinners. God sent Katrina, He sent the rain.
God sent the rain, and God cares in the rain. God once sent another large storm, one much greater then Katrina, and He flooded the world for forty days and forty nights. Then, after the rain stopped the water stayed. People were dead, animals were gone and houses demolished. Yet, some survived. They floated alive on the surface for days, because the water didn't recede. They waited, just like those people in New Orleans. Patiently, because their Lord would deliver. He does deliver. He delivers in Christ, Himself. He pours Himself out in the rain. The rain does care. That baptismal storm which covered the earth for forty days is a gift.
God call us to repent in storms. In storms, like that of Katrina, we stand in awe as we realize how truly fragile our poor miserable sinful lives are. Everything we know and everything worldly that we might trust in can slip from our hands. There is judgment in the waters of New Orleans, judgment in the dead bodies floating in the flooded streets. That same judgment is in our dead body, floating in the waters of our Baptism. That judgment is true for those in New Orleans and it is true for you and me. That judgment is real, and that judgment kills.
Through the water he saves us, and Katrina is a gift, a reminder of the gift we received in Christ, the gift of Holy Baptism. Katrina comes as a raging storm. So do we keep our eyes on Christ, or shall we look at the waves? If we look at the waves we'll get lost in them, we shall sink and die. If, by virtue of our baptism, we keep our on the Author and Perfector of our faith, Jesus Christ, then even in this storm He shall preserve us. Everything may not be as OK as we think, but between our heavenly Father, and us everything is perfect, for we are baptized.
Katrina is our inheritance from Christ; it is a gift in our baptism. It is received with hope and joy, trusting in a faithful Lord who keeps His promises.
What is God's judgment in Katrina? What is His will for the sinners who are suffering from its terrible effects? In Christ, God's judgment is that you are saved. In Christ, God's judgment is that you shall receive the riches of heaven above. In Christ, God's judgment is that you shall be with Him. This is what God pours out on those who see the waters of Katrina, that terrible storm, and rejoice in their waters, in their baptismal storm.
New Orleans is filled with filthy water right now. Dead bodies are floating in this water. Our Baptism was filled with filthy water. A dead body was floating in that water. All of our sins washed away in a forty-day storm marked by the name of our Triune God. Those sins were left in the water, rain that flooded the earth, and they made that water filthy, but they made you clean. A dead man, named Adam died in that water, and He was left there, and from that water a new man rose in Christ. That man is you, resurrected from the judgment of death, now living in the Gospel received in Christ.
Does God care in the rain? My baptism says even in the flood, He cares for me in Christ. Even in the storm, He saves me in Christ. Even in death, I am in Christ.
Stan Lemon is a pre-seminary student of Theological Language and Theology at Concordia University River Forest. He is also the webmaster for the Higher Things website. His email address is email@example.com.