great and dreadful
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”—Malachi 4:5-6
The work of Jesus on the Cross and celebrated at the empty tomb is considered both Great and Dreadful. It speaks to the exclusivity of the Christian walk. There are only two sides to this coin. Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with Me is against Me.”
1 Corinthians 1 speaks to the Wisdom of God. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than mankind, and the weakness of God is stronger than mankind” (verse 25). Depending on where you sit, on one side of the coin the “foolishness” of the cross is Great and on the other side of the coin the “foolishness” is Dreadful. The reality of this conclusive position will not really fully be recognized until our earthly timeframe has come to a close. In the meantime, it can be rather hard to discern the greater path from the dreadful path. In fact, sometimes it may be downright impossible. Earthly successes and failures earmark both sides of the coin. So, what is the difference maker? Malachi makes it fairly clear in the last verse of his book – it is a matter of heart. Where is your heart? What is at your core? What truly motivates your motions? Jesus, too, made this quite clear – it is a matter of heart. It is not legalisms. It is not external, flowery euphemisms. It is not earned rights of the privileged, nor divine providence. It is simply a matter of heart. Are you willing to push past selfish earthly pleasures to put others first in very real and compassionate ways? Jesus did – for you and me and your kids. It may not, is not, fully rational. That is the beauty of Faith found in Grace. Education has to include this foundational reality. Great supersedes Dreadful every day, all the time, and even all eternity. At Martin Luther High School we seek to teach the Great and the Dreadful and put teens on the path to heaven. Help us teach this!
Come Lord Jesus, Amen!
Principal Paul Steinhaus