Genesis 15: 1-6 

Psalm 33 

Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-16 

St. Luke 12: 32-40 

“The White Rose” 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen. 

Of all the common events that the regular American  experiences throughout their lives, the one that generally brings  the greatest joy and happiness is the day we are wedded with our  beloved wife or husband. On this day there is much mirth as vows  are given, and holy matrimony is blessed upon the two now  united. Cheers are lifted high as friends and family give their  support and pray for God to continually bless these two and to be  their rock as they, as one flesh, journey forth. 

Usually there is singing, much fanfare, a lot of fancy clothing,  sometimes communion, and in particular a predominantly popular  color scheme: white. Usually the bride is dressed in pure white,  and, as for the floral arrangement, there is present white roses. In  fact white roses are known to be the most commonly used flower  in weddings, and for obvious reasons. For the white rose in  weddings represents loyalty, purity, and innocence. All qualities a  spouse would desire in themselves and in the other. To be loyal  to each other, pure in love toward each other, and innocent of all  that might harm the union. This is what’s generally implied when  white roses are present at a wedding, but with regards to the holy  union between the Church and her bridegroom Jesus Christ,  much more is implied.

Two weeks ago I started the first of five sermons reflecting  on the Luther Rose of which is the symbol of the Lutheran  Church. Once again I profess that this symbol is just a mere  symbol that we don’t need to tie ourselves done with, but to those  who willingly use the symbol, such as myself, when asked what is  this symbol, a good response is to explain what each part means.  By explaining each of the five parts of the Luther Rose you will  likewise explain your faith, providing a testimony of what you  believe. 

Now at the center of this symbol is the black cross, which is  the absolute center of our entire faith and of which without it our  faith is meaningless but through it all of our sins have been taken.  This black cross is nested in the center of our hearts and as such it takes on our sinfulness thus bringing new life to our once dead  hearts, changing it to a vibrant red. And this red heart changed  through the black heart, where does it rest? Why in a five pointed  white rose. 

Though I will go over this in much more length when I refer  to the gold ring, the fifth element of the Luther Rose, I will briefly  allude to it via the white rose for we the church and Jesus Christ  are already wedded to each other, with Christ as our head and we  

the wife. And if any symbol short of wedding rings can represent  this union it would be the white rose, though instead of us  approaching Christ the bridegroom with white roses in our hands,  Christ comes to us like a gentleman, going down on one knee and  presenting to us his banquet of white roses; for in this relationship  it is Christ who is pure, innocent, and loyal. And it is He who 

completely gave himself up for our sake so that through Him and  this wedding we would be redressed in sparkling white clothes. 

You see this purity, this white shimmer void of any blemish,  is not a quality that comes from us, for none of us are pure. This  white color is rather associated with God and all his angels.  Throughout scripture, whenever the angels who appear before  mankind are described, their clothing is always white. On the day  of our Lord’s resurrection an angel appeared before the Mary’s to  roll the stone away. Matthew 28:3, “His appearance was like  lightning, and his clothing white as snow.” And according to John  20:12, when Mary looked into the tomb, “she saw two angels in  white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head  and one at the feet.” And as for Jesus, when He was transfigured,  Matthew 17:2 describes how his, “clothes became white as light,” in Mark 9:3, “his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no  one on earth could bleach them,” and in Luke 9:29, “His clothes  became dazzling white.” 

The color white has always been associated with purity, and  from a scriptural point of view the only ones who are pure are God  the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and all the heavenly forces that  serve God. They alone are pure. 

Now while Christ does continually purify us from sin via the  cross, there is much more God does for us, for the heart resting  on a white rose is liken to our heart resting in the precious hands  of God. His hands are gentle and kind; strong enough to carry all  our struggles, and tender enough to bring nothing but peace to  hearts of those who already cradle within themselves the saving 

cross. To us who are saved, no longer do the hands of God  appear to be angry and filled with righteous indignation, but  instead appear to be filled with mercy, grace, and love. Rest  

assured that in the caress of his arms, no harm will come our way  as his warmth alone He provides for us while also shielding us  from the cold merciless venom of the Serpent. 

Now a short thought I had, usually when someone talks  about roses they usually also bring up thorns. Though there are  no thorns in this symbol, if we were to factor in thorns, realizing  that the white rose is akin to the gentle embrace of God, then the  thorns would not be directed at us but instead be a thorn in the  side of the Devil. 

But there is one thing that Luther mentioned regarding this  element of the Lutheran symbol, “Such a heart is to be in the  midst of a white rose, to symbolize that faith gives joy, comfort,  and peace. In a word, it places the believer into a white joyful  rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy as the world  gives.” As humans, we all want to eventually experience peace  and joy. Sadly, we so too often look for such in all the wrong  places. Maybe we search for such by avoiding conflict or using  substances. Likewise many humans, in their search for these two  elusive things, peace and joy, have devised shadows of such.  Whether philosophy, sociology, psychology, politics, fake  religions, we keep on creating for ourselves shadows of peace  and joy, but you will never find such in any of these manmade  devices. But what if I said peace and joy are actually not as  allusive as we think they are? What if they are only allusive 

because we chase after fake images of such? What if peace and  joy has always been readily available for us? 

Jesus in John 14:27 says, “I am leaving you with a gift— peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace  the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” Thus it is not faith  

in of itself that produces peace and joy, but God who produces  peace and joy of which we receive through faith in God. As  oppose to the shadowy peace and joy which the world gives, the  peace and joy we receive from God is pure and without sin. It  comes without any thorns or gotcha clauses. It is a free gift of  which God the Father wishes to provide for all his children, and of  which God the Son wish to present as a wedding gift to the bride  he gave his very life to save. 

And before anyone claims that faith is a requirement thus  negating the free attribute of this gift, if we do not have faith in  God would we not push away his freely given gifts to chase after  shadows of things produced by the world? Without faith, we push  God and his gifts away. Without faith, we will never attend our  own wedding but run after jerks who care not for us. It is because  of faith that we take the leap necessary to grasp the freely given  gifts which the bridegroom, our Savior Jesus Christ is truly trying  to provide for us. He wants us to be at peace, and wants us  dearly to experience true joy, a joy that is not tied down by sin and  the shame attached to sin. He wishes to set us free, by taking on  our sins and all its guilt and shame. 

And before I conclude, a quick note on the five pointed  aspect of the rose, though this in of itself can be a five sermon 

series. The five points represents the five Solas of Lutheranism,  solas meaning “alone”: Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone,  Christ Alone, and Glory to God Alone. Basically, “Christians are  saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as  revealed by Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone.” A neat,  short, and concise statement found on the Concordia University of  Texas website. 

So in the end what can we glimpse from this element of the  Luther Rose, the white rose? That as Christians, we place our  faith not in ourselves but in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  who is pure and is to us the source of true peace and joy. 

Let us pray, 


Dear Heavenly Father, as you present to us your gifts of  peace and joy, coming to us in all purity, help us to not seek out  for alternatives but to willingly receive your gracious gifts. In your  holy name we pray: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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