To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. — Ephesians 3:8
As we greet the New Year, we remember Paul’s words about preaching to the Gentiles the great treasure that we receive as we reflect upon our Lord’s birth and epiphany. As I recently wandered about the back roads of Denmark – without a star to guide me, but only a modern GPS! – I was reminded of the Wise Men seeking the Savior.
There are various interpretations of the origins of the Wise Men. Were they from Persia? Or Arabic lands? Whatever the case, there are many Muslims from the Middle East who are also navigating the back roads of Europe and entering Lutheran churches, all in order to find out more about the One whom their ancestors worshiped and adored at Epiphany.
While I was in Denmark in November, I was invited to a couple of Bible studies in the hamlets of Bording and Holstebro. The students were mostly Iranian, though there were scattered Arabic speakers. So when I addressed the 60 or so in Holstebro, it felt like the United Nations! Many languages were being utilized (Danish too, of course), all in the attempt to understand the Bible and share God’s Word with spiritually hungry Muslims who had found no peace in Islam. They were very happy to have LHF’s Small Catechism in Farsi and glad to hear we will soon have a children’s Bible story book in that language as well.
I was encouraged that the work of LHF is not in vain, but that there are many Middle Easterners who are discovering true peace in Jesus Christ. God’s Word is the star guiding them to the Savior! We are thankful to you for assisting us in preaching to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus, our Lord. May His peace be with you and your families throughout 2018.
– Rev. Matthew Heise, LHF Executive Director