October 2019 Issue I.V “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.” Matthew 18:2-6 (ESV)
He called a little child… When I first sat down to work on my newsletter for this month, I was at a loss for what to write. I was sitting with the laptop in my brother’s house writing my updates when my niece came and sat beside me. After an hour of playing with her, my thoughts became clear. It is always amazing to read about children in the Bible. In Matthew 18 Christ brings a child before the boastful disciples and says, “unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (ESV)
Over the past month, I’ve visited various congregations in Wisconsin and New York. During this time, I’ve been around children almost every day. Children that run, that tackle unexpectedly, that sing and stomp at seven in the morning. Children that spend every moment of the day playing or trying to create chaos in the absolute best ways possible. Children are a joy.
This past month reminded me that Christ calls each of us to be like little children. I am twenty-eight years old, and about to go out into the world to proclaim the Gospel to people I’ve never meet before in languages that I am still learning and working to understand. The adult in me has a difficult time listening to this passage. There are things to be done and places to go. I have responsibilities and work to do. Perhaps you feel the same way at times; as if there really isn’t time to be childlike. Yet, sometimes it just takes an hour playing in the yard to remind us why being childlike is so important.
When I think of children, I think of the joy they have. But I also think of their need for rest, their need to learn, their need to grow and their need for their parents. Children are the perfect image of the life of faith and humility. All Christians are like children. We grow in our faith, we learn, we listen. We need time to rest and to rejoice in God’s grace and His mercy.
But more than anything else we are each like children because of who our Heavenly Father is, because of who God is. God is the almighty Creator of the universe. He is the God who hears our prayers, joins in our joys, and suffers with us. He is the Father who takes us in His arms and gives His own Son in our place. He makes us a part of His family, and it is in the arms of the Heavenly Father that we truly become children of the faith. Children that enter into the kingdom of heaven with joy and thanksgiving.
It is hard to believe we are already at the end of October! During October I have been able to visit congregations in Wisconsin and New York and spend a little time with family and friends as well. My oldest brother Ben and sister-in-law Anna live in Rochester, New York with their three children. It is hard to believe that my oldest niece is ten years old, and that my nephew is catching touchdowns for fun! While I am excited to get to work in the mission field, I am also grateful for the time spent with family.
– That God would prepare the way for lost souls to return to Him. – That missionaries here and around the world would be prepared to proclaim the Gospel with patience and love. – For diligence as I prepare for work abroad and continued joy as I visit congregations here close to home.
With Thanksgiving just a month away, I can already think of countless things to be thankful for. This time of year, we celebrate the gracious and countless blessings God has given to each and every one of us. For me, I am grateful for the prayers, support, and encouragement that has come from all over the world. So, thanks be to God, thank you and God bless. – Missionary Pastor Steven Braun
Become a Partner in the Mission: Give securely online at: lcms.org/braun Send checks designated for ‘Braun—Germany Support’ to: The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod P.O. Box 66861 St. Louis, MO, 63166-6861 or to: Mission Central 40718 highway E. 16 Mapleton, IA 51034