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Immanuel — God with Us!

Surveying CLC History
From the 25th Anniversary Booklet (1985) “Reflections – Projections”
“Projection” Number Twelve of twelve (series concluded)
Pastor Norbert Reim (1918-2007)

How we humans would love to draw aside the curtain and take a peek into what is to come! What do the next years hold in store for the Church of the Lutheran Confession? Will this old world still be in existence after another quarter of a century? If it is, will the CLC be around to help proclaim the gospel to its inhabitants? If so, will it still be faithful to the confessional position to which we have been led by the Spirit through the Word? Will there have been growth? What of our foreign missions efforts?

Our gracious Lord, of course, continues to veil the future from us. He has given us prophecies which tell us what we need to know to be prepared for the end times and the life of the world to come. He has assured us that while this Earth endures, the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church. But He does not tell us how any specific church body or its members will fare. This He lovingly withholds from us because such knowledge would not be good for us.

But this does not mean that the future is veiled in fearful uncertainty for us. We know much about what will happen because we know what has happened. We know that our Heavenly Father loved us enough to keep the promise He made through the prophet Isaiah: “The Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and you shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

As we look again into the Bethlehem manger and rejoice in the pardon and salvation God has given us through this Child, and think about what it really means that God is with us, we have all the assurance we need about our future. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Has He not promised: “I will not leave you nor forsake you”? (Hebrews 13:5) “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also give us all things with Him?” (Romans 8:32)

Do we need to know anything more about the future as we plan our gospel proclamation for the years to come?