I had to smile. The headline read, “Florida deems WWE pro-wrestling ‘essential business’ amid coronavirus pandemic.” Nothing like a good ol’ essential body slam!

On the not so humorous side, Victoria, BC and Toronto, ON declared MAiD (Medical Aid in Dying) an “essential health service.” And do not allow the acronym to fool you. MAiD means killing people for their own good (euthanasia) or allowing people to kill themselves for their own good (assisted suicide).

Here in Iowa, Planned Parenthood caused a stir when the governor declared killing children before they are born (abortion) an elective medical procedure, non-essential. Compassion and Choices, formerly the Hemlock society and currently leading the pro-death movement, heavily lobbied congress to allow telemed doctor “visits” to be essential for prescribing the poison for killing yourself in states where it is legal.

What sad irony that during a time where people fear sickness and death, death is offered as an essential solution. But death is never the solution to the problems of life.

Well, there was that one time.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:8-11). 

Now there’s some essential Good News! Jesus raised from the dead! Jesus conquering death!  Jesus living to God! Jesus living for us!


It is not essential that we are fearless during stressful times. But an essential peace tempers our fear, peace with God, peace unlike the world gives, peace spoken from the lips of a living Jesus.

It is not essential we never feel alone. But an essential presence lessens our loneliness, the presence of the living Jesus, a presence that gives comfort and strength and hope as we hear Him say, “I will never leave you.”

Is not essential we understand why things like pandemics happen causing so much need and uncertainty. But an essential promise mitigates our lack of understanding, the promise that He who did not spare His Son for us and raised Him from the dead, works in our lives and in our circumstances and in world crisis to accomplish good, His good according to His holy will. He promises that nothing can separate us from His love at work in our lives.

Lutheran Family Service delivers essential services. We seek to bring peace to troubled hearts and minds through our telehealth/distance counseling capabilities. We help with loneliness by personal phone calls, especially to the elderly and vulnerable. We offer life-affirming guidance and assistance when an already hard to understand life becomes even more complicated due to an unplanned pregnancy. And our adoption team continues to work with families through safe communication methods.

Lutheran Family Service offers essential services as do many social services agencies. But one thing sets us apart. We offer essential services motivated by and permeated with THE ESSENTIAL message.

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42)

One thing is needful. One thing is essential.

Listening to the words of Jesus. Lutheran Family Service offers His words in the words we share, words of a living Savior, words of His peace and His presences and His promises. No matter what the circumstances, Jesus gives the essential message, the “good portion, which will not be taken away from [us].”

Rev. Dr. Jim Lamb
Lutheran Family Service Life Advocate

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