Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The church celebrates Advent because the devil is prowling around trying to eat us. Advent reminds us that being a Christian means living a life in which we are watching and waiting for our Lord to come. It is a life in which we recognize sin for what it is: the snapping jaws of the devil-lion that seeks to tear us limb from limb. The world lives like the drunk guy at the zoo, taunting the lions and then suddenly stumbling over the wall and into the lion's den where he is pounced upon and torn to shreds. Don't ever think that's not exactly what the devil has in mind for you: to tempt you, to drag you away from Christ and tear you to shreds!
With such a lion roaming around, how do we keep watch? How do we stay vigilant? We hide in the one place where sin cannot harm us: Christ's church. There, where Christ has His advent among us, we are protected from this roaring lion. Where Christ is, who was Himself snatched by the jaws of death,, we are safe from sin and death. Where Christ is, who has conquered sin and death and stolen the devil's power to accuse us, we are safe from the evil one. Where our baptism is, there we have been rescued from the beast that hunts us. Where Christ's body and blood are given, sinners are saved from the lion that seeks to devour them.
Peter says to resist the devil, “steadfast in the faith.” Sound familiar? “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you steadfast in the true faith to life everlasting.” It is the Lord who keeps you in the faith that resists the devil. It is the Lord who protects you from those evil jaws of death. It is the Lord who has rescued you from the devil's power and might. It is Christ, who has become the hunter and has taken down that lion for you so that it cannot bother you any more. The evil foe has no power over you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Behold the Lamb of God That bears the world's transgression, Whose sacrifice removes The devil's dread oppression. Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away our sin, Who for our peace and joy Will full atonement win. (LSB 346:3)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.