Grace shines into our hearts
March 15, 2010
by Pastor G. Koivukangas, Laestadian Lutheran Church, Cokato

Spring is a wonderful time. The warmth of the sun has a healing effect. Flowers begin to bloom, trees are budding and the grass turns green. It appears that hearts are light and joyful as we see this transformation of life around us.

On a certain spring, centuries ago in Israel, the Bible relates of a wondrous time: “So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, there was not the like in Jerusalem” (2 Chron. 30:26).

The year had not begun in that way – quite the contrary. In the home of the crown prince Hezekiah, hearts were not light and joyful. No; heavy was the sorrow there.

His father, the old king Ahaz, had been lowered into the bosom of the earth. He had lived in ungodliness his entire life. The testimony of the Bible is, “he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Chron. 28:1).

Evil had flourished. All manner of sin was practiced. Ahaz had set up altars and statues for false gods. The vessels of the house of God had been destroyed. The doors had been closed and the lamps extinguished. The temple was forgotten. It began to decay.

Such were the conditions when young Hezekiah ascended the throne of his father at the age of 25. The temple was then cleansed and priests were placed to their duties, and only the believing ones could preach.

The time of Passover was approaching. The young king sent messengers with letters throughout Israel and Judah, to request people to attend the services of the Passover.

“Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. Now be ye not stiff-necked, as your fathers were. But yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified forever.” (2 Chron. 30:6-8).

Warm services were now enjoyed in the second month of Hezekiah’s reign. Sermons of repentance began to bear fruit. Many, many received the grace of repentance.

At this Passover service, which lasted several weeks, the blood of the lambs, calves and bullocks flowed. The blood spoke through example of the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed on Good Friday of Easter week for our sins. The grace of God affected and became a good teacher, to reject sin and ungodliness. The good knowledge of God was taught.

Returning home from these days of services, hearts were joyful and light. The peace of God had filled them. The grace of the Son of God warmed their souls.

Dear friend and neighbor, nothing has changed. The grace of God warms our hearts and teaches us to reject sin. In our life, it can be seen as springtime every day.