Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
For 27 years our Lord has blessed the members of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toowoomba with His presence. Now, with much rejoicing, on the 7th of November, Bethlehem is moving to new larger premises. You’ll be able to watch the recorded service under the “Latest Services” tab.
The Word of God indeed accomplishes what the Lord desires, and it is now His desire that we take His Word with us and continue to be served by Him with Word and Sacrament.
Whether or not we understand the ways of the Lord, we can trust that His Word is true and will always do what it says. Martin Luther once said, “He is speaking of ways and thoughts which have to do with the Word.… Rain and snow are not useless, but they water the earth, giving seed to the sower. The rain can achieve everything for the earth.… When we experience the absence of rain, we see what the earth produces. So He takes away the glory of the earth and shows that it is not the earth that does it but that it is accomplished by the rain. So our building and promotion of the church is not the result of our works but of the Word of God which we preach” (Luther’s Works, American Edition 17:257–58). “This is all because of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, which no one can praise enough. For it has, and is able to do, all that God is and can do” (Large Catechism IV 17).
God has promised to work through the external Word. God has simply chosen the Word as the means through which He has promised to work. Of course, He could work through other means, but the entire Scripture maintains that God works through the Word. Through these words God invites sinners to listen. We should not be surprised when we realise what God’s Word can do. Whenever anyone thinks that he or she can do without hearing the Word, such a person discards the way God works within us. We may behold the beauties of God’s created world and wonder at God’s glory and majesty, but those insights will not bring us to Christ. Only His Word can do that.
We thank and praise God for giving us His Word and pray that He would continue to bless us at our new premises. To Him be all glory and honour for evermore!