It is always dangerous to say that a season is my favorite time of the year. But there it is. Right now Advent is my favorite time of the year. The hymns are sublime, the Gospel is clear and beautiful. The hope of the One to Come washes over you like a flood.
The longing of Advent for me is also closely associated with death. Our daughter, Nadia, died in utero the day after Thanksgiving in 2005. Our Son, Emmanuel, died in utero on December 21, 2009. My mother died on January 9. So this season is really a time of longing for me. Longing for what is gone. Longing for what can never be.
But that really is what our Lord’s coming is all about. Our Lord’s birth is miraculous. It should not have happened. By all reason and common sense, it is impossible. Yet it is true.
This season as we long for what is lost, look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is the One who wipes away our tears. He is the one who will create all things new. He is the one who has gives us hope (Nadia) by becoming one with our flesh and blood. He is God-with-Us (Emmanuel).
Lord, make all things new. I hope in your Word alone.
(This is a copy of the article on my church’s web site.)
Messiah Lutheran Church is pleased to announce its first speaker in the IMPACT series. The IMPACT series is a series of presentations available to the community in conjunction with our fiftieth anniversary.
Our first presentation is entitled, I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. Our speaker is Pastor Todd A. Peperkorn, pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church. The title of the presentation comes from Pastor Peperkorn’s book of the same title, published in 2009.
Please consider joining us for this important topic. It is free of charge. You may follow updates on the IMPACT series through our Facebook page:
Messiah’s Facebook Page
You may also indicate if you will be attending by going to the Facebook event:
Facebook IMPACT event: I Trust When Dark My Road
We hope to see you there!
Here is a link to my interview on Issues Etc. from last night on Psalm Six. It does raise lots of interesting questions. One of the questions it raises is this: does God hate me or love me? We often will hear the phrase “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” I’m not so sure about that. It think it would be pretty hard in the Scriptures to separate God’s righteous hatred for sin from his righteous hatred for the sinner.
The point, however, is that this is not the final word. God takes out His just punishment on Jesus at the cross. God does not deal with me according to his anger anymore (Ps. 6:1) but he deals with me according to His graciousness (Ps. 6:2). If we forget or ignore one, we lose the whole enchilada.
Anyway, there’s my interview. Enjoy!
Podcast: Play in new window
(This was originally posted at I Trust When Dark My Road. I won’t normally cross-post, but this is an obvious exception. -TAP)
The wait is finally over!
Nearly three years after I began the process of writing this book, it is now available for free download. The free print version will be available sometime in mid-late July. It is at the printer as we speak.
I would urge you to go to the website listed below and order as many copies as they will let you or as many as you need. then download the book and start to get a sense of it. I am very excited and anxious to hear your thoughts on this, and I pray it will serve as a blessing to the Church.
I would especially like to thank Maggie Karner, Al Dobnia, Sarah M. Shafer, Philip Hendricksen, and the entire staff at LCMS World Relief and Human Care for their kindness and work in helping this project come to fruition. They are a wonderful group of people!
So check it out and let me know what you think.
Pastor Todd Peperkorn
I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression
To request your complimentary copy, call 800-248-1930, ext. 1380.
The following is the blurb that is on page 10 of the Spring 2009 edition of Caring, from LCMS World Relief:
Free Resource Explores Clergy and Depression LCMS World Relief and Human Care’s newest resource reflects Rev. Todd Peperkorn’s personal journey through depression, I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression. LCMS WR-HC Executive Director Rev. Matthew Harrison recommends the book to all associated with professional church work: “This book offers a path to hope, and a future through Christ.” Dr. Beverly K. Yahnke, a licensed clinical psychologist, writes in the book’s forward: “When one’s mind and soul journey across the ghastly landscape of clinical depression, the adventure may challenge faith, hope, and life itself. … Peperkorn invites us into the world of a depressed Christian who remains reliant upon God’s grace.” The book is expected to be available in mid-June. To request your complimentary copy, call 800-248-1930, ext. 1380.
This was originally posted on my other blog, I Trust When Dark My Road. I have kept this blog quasi-anonymous for almost three years, but with the publication of this book, my double secret identity is now moot. I would please urge you to go to the above blog and subscribe to it. There is a great community of fellow sufferers, and I believe it will be worth your while.
Enjoy, and order as many books as you think you’ll use! THEY’RE FREE!