“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” (Ezekiel 3:17).
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The prophet Ezekiel is like your pastor. His job is to warn you away from what would lead you into sin and unbelief. Some people think pastors are judgmental when they point out a person's sins. Don't fall into that way of thinking! The Lord gives you a pastor to call you to repentance and comfort you with the Gospel.
And that, ultimately, is what Christ does. He comes into this world to rescue us from what would ruin us: sin, death, the devil, Hell, our Old Adam. Through His death on Calvary, the Lord demonstrates at the same time both how terrible our sin is—it killed the Son of God!--and God's own mercy—the Son of God gives His life to save us!
Now, through the preaching of His Word, Christ warns sinners away from their sin and forgives them with His gifts: the waters of Baptism and His Body and Blood. Why does He give us those things? Why do our pastors warn us against our sins? Our sins can lead us away from Christ! Murder, adultery, stealing, gossiping and all the rest—these are the ways the Devil uses to get us away from Jesus. The Devil's goal is never just that you do something you shouldn't. It's that by being a sinner you think you either don't need Jesus or else think your sins are too big. Then you stop going to church, stop living in your Baptism, and fall away.
But the Lord won't have that! He rescues you with parents and pastors to call you to repentance, teach you right from wrong and to deliver Jesus and the forgiveness of sins to you. After all, where Jesus and His forgiveness are given, sin can't destroy you. You are the Lord's. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Lord Jesus, think on me Nor let me go astray; Through darkness and perplexity Point out Your chosen way. (LSB 610:4)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.