Reflections: August 27, 2020
Monica, Mother of Augustine
By Mark Buetow
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We often think of the work of pastors and missionaries in the conversion of unbelievers. The fact is, all Christians give a witness to those around them of God's goodness to the world in His Son, Jesus. One such Christian was Monica, the mother of the famed St. Augustine, a very important father in the early church. Monica, as described by her son, is said to have persevered in prayer for her pagan husband and for her wayward son. Her husband was baptized not long before his death, an answer to her fervent prayer. Likewise, her son Augustine later became a Christian when he was baptized by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan.
When we read the book of Acts, we hear the stories of so many people who heard the Good News of Jesus and then it seems we never hear of them again. This story of the Lord converting sinners into believers has been going on since the Lord sent His apostles to preach in all the world. Sometimes a conversion is very dramatic, the fruit of the hard work of some faithful preacher. Sometimes it is less well known, the result of the lesser known but still mighty work of a parent praying to the Lord for her child, or grandparents for grandchildren, or a husband for a wife.
The truth is, parents often pray for their children to remain in the Christian faith or to become Christian. It is a tireless effort on the part of family members, imploring the Lord for their loved ones to be saved. It often seems fruitless or pointless but it can never be so. It can't be when Jesus our High Priest never fails to pray for us, reminding His Father that because of His Cross and empty tomb, because of His water, Word, and Body and Blood, the Father must save us! So we pray, clinging to those promises, asking that the Lord be faithful in also saving the ones we love! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Oh, blest the parents who give heed Unto their children's foremost need And weary not of care or cost, May none to them and heav'n be lost! ("Oh, Blest the House" LSB 862, st. 3)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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