Monday, August 22, 2016

Give the Gift of Life

 That is the slogan that is used by the Red Cross (at least I think it is the Red Cross) when it advertises a blood drive. Here at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Troy, there will be a blood drive this week. On Wednesday, August 24, from 3-6:30 p.m. you can come in and give the gift of life. You can donate blood. It is an important thing for you to do. That blood that you donate may help that person who hurt in a car accident or who is surgery or you name the situation. I have never had to have a blood transfusion but I know many different people who have, members of the congregations I have served. I visit them in the hospital and there is the bag of blood hanging on the pole, the little machine delivering the right amount of blood through the plastic tube that runs to their arms or to the port in their body. It is important. It is vital. It is giving the gift of life to that person.

I would encourage you to give blood on Wednesday. Sign up on line, call the church office, show up the day of the blood drive, whatever. If you are able, give blood. It is the gift of life.

There is another that gave blood as the gift of life as well. (Did you really think I was going to be done so easily?) That one gave blood as He hung upon a cross. By the shedding of His blood, Jesus Christ gave the gift of life. "In him (Jesus) we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7 ESV) Jesus went to the cross to shed His blood for you and me. He gave His blood as the price of paying our sins. Through His blood, we are given life. "...knowing that you were not ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." (1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV) Redeemed through the blood of the Lamb, through the blood of Christ - that truly is the gift of life.

Then we receive the gift of life each time that we receive the Lord's Supper. There in the supper is the body and blood of our Savior in, with and under the bread and wine. Jesus said to us, "Drink of it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:28 ESV) There is wonder in the Sacrament. There, each week, we are given the gift of life.

We cannot save another as Christ saved us. But we can take steps to do our part. That is why we have blood drives. Give the gift of life for someone else. And remember, as you do, Christ has already given you the gift of life.

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