“Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:1–5 – the Introit for Sunday after Epiphany)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. Today is a Thanksgiving-Epiphany! Make a joyful song, shout to the Lord! Serve the Lord with gladness!
Christianity is a happy faith, full of the joy of knowing that the One, Jesus Christ, who manifested Himself to the Magi, has answered for all of our sins. In Christ, the Lord is not angry with us. He is good. He created us. He saved us. His mercy is everlasting. How could we not be full of gladness?
Unbelief. We don’t believe that God is all that He says He is for us. We doubt that He Himself made us. We think we have to go about it on our own. We forget that we have a Heavenly Father who didn’t even spare His own Son in being our Savior.
We forget. We doubt. We just plain don’t believe. Instead, we despair, trying to go about life on our own. We try to fix our situations with God and one another by what we do. We plan and we scheme before things happen, trying to maintain control of everything around us. When we fail, we worry. We fret. We work. We pray. We worship. We strain to believe more, and we try to sin less.
All of this makes us somber because it is all of the Law. Not only can it not save us, but it also leads only to more seriousness in hell.
The Psalmist says to, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise.” Heaven is already ours. No need to work, no need to fret, all that leads only to despair. His goodness, His mercy, His truth is made ours in baptism, where His Son blood shed on the Cross washes away all our sins away.
Today our Lord epiphanies to us with great joy. No more sadness and despair! Know that the Lord is God. He is your God. Sing for joy for the Lord has been merciful to you in Christ and delivered His forgiveness to you in the waters of baptism. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
“I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, And the train of His robe filled the temple. And I heard the voice of a great multitude, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!’” (Antiphon)
Daily Lectionary: Ezek. 1:1-14, 22-28, Rom. 1:1-17, Hab. 1:1-3:19
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.