|Messiah Lutheran Church||
6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
As I write this article, the Chicago Cubs are still playing baseball in the middle of October - and are in contention to win the 2015 World Series after years of futility (Holy Cow!).
While there are reasonable explanations for the Cubs losing ways over the years, some die hard Cubs fans will insist that the real reason behind their bumbling performances on the field is due to a curse put on them by Billy Goat Tavern owner Bill Sianis in 1945, who was asked to leave game 4 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers because his pet's odor was bothering other fans.
In response, Sianis allegedly sent a telegram to team owner Philip K. Wrigley, stating: "You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat".
The Cubs, who were up two games to one at the time, ended up losing game 4 as well as the best of the seven series, four games to three.
There have been many attempts to break the "curse of the Billy Goat" over the years, nevertheless the Cubs have not won a National League pennant since this incident and have not won a World Series since 1908 (so far, at least).
Whether you believe in the "curse of the Billy Goat" or not, the Bible tells us that all of us are under a curse due to sin. The curse of God came upon the earth in Genesis 3 as a result of the fall of mankind, and ever since this curse has been passed on to you and me.
Due to sin and its consequences, it can often feel that we are perennial losers in lite, and nothing seems to go right.
'Worse yet, the Law in God's Word reminds us that we deserve to be cursed for breaking God's Holy Law, and receive nothing but His wrath and punishment.
Then there is the ever present enemy of death that has been threatening us since the day of our conception. And so Job well describes man's plight: "Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away ... " (Job 14:1-2a).
But just when all seems hopeless, we are reminded that before God barred Adam and Eve from Paradise, He promised that he would reverse the curse of sin through the seed of Eve. That seed would be the source of blessing to all the nations of the earth. That seed would be the promised Messiah in Jesus.
Jesus came to remove the curse of sin. He came "that we may have life and havB it more abundantly" (John 10:10). He became sin's curse in our place on a cross. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having bec6me a curse for us; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Gal 3j3).
As a result, all who believe in Him have been blessed w~h freedom from sm, death, and hell.
While, living in this sin infected world certainly has its challenges, we are "more than conquerors through faith in Christ", for we have a Savior on our side, whose sacrificial death is proof of His never-ending love for us and ~is commitment to our eternal welfare.
Living in a sin cursed world, Jesus realistically warns us, "In this world, you will have many troubles", but then he goes on to say, "Take heart, for I have overcome this world" (John 16:33).
As a born-again child of God, you can be assured that no matter how challenging your situation, nothing can separate you from His love. As St. Paul writes, "I'm convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles nor rulers, nothing now nor in the future, no powers, nothing above or below, nor any other creature can every separate us from the love God has for us in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-89).
And one day, you will receive the victors crown of life, and take up permanent residence in a place where there will be no sorrow or tears. A world filled with blessings and no more curses ..
At times we may find ourselves crying out, "How Long?" To which our Lord says, I am coming Soon! (Rev 22:7, 12)
And when the trials and tribulations of this world get us down, he says "Look up, for your redemption is drawing near" (Luke 21:28).
And so, we respond by saying, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:20)
Giving endless praises to Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns so that we might one day wear a crown of everlasting glory!
Jesus has reversed the curse, so that we can receive God's blessings!
And so we join Isaac Watts, not just at Christmas time, but throughout the year, in singing Joy to the world!
"No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as the curse is found".
As we go on our way rejoicing, as God says to us, "Go my children with my blessing!"
Receiving the Aaronic Benediction:
"The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make His face shine on you
And be gracious to you.
The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace".
As, well as the Apostolic Benediction:
"The love of God,
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, always!"
As a forgiven child of God, you are blessed! Your life is blessed! Don't let the devil, the world, or your sinful flesh convince you otherwise!
And your eternity will be filled with blessings beyond what you can even think or imagine:
God's Abundant Blessings to you, your family, and all the members and friends of Messiah!
Take heart, for through Christ you have overcome the curse of sin!
And, may your Cubs finally overcome the "curse of the Billy Goat"!!!*
*And may my Lions also one day overcome the curse of Bobby Layne!!
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