Today's Reading: Ezekiel 36:22-28
"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. The Tin Man needed a new heart. It wasn' t that his had stopped working; he simply didn' t have one. "An empty kettle," was all he was.
According to the prophet Ezekiel, the problem isn' t that you don' t have a heart, but that yours is no good. You' re worse than the Tin Man. You have a heart of stone — a heart out of which, Jesus says, "Come[s] evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander."
There' s no defibrillator in the world that' s going to bring you back from that kind of cardiac arrest. You need a radical operation: a divine heart transplant. "I will give you a new heart," says the Lord. "I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh."
That' s what Jesus, your Great Physician, specializes in: heart transplants. Jesus' heart was moved by compassion for you, and all sinners. His blood, shed for you on the cross, courses into the font for you. Baptism is your divine heart surgery. Out with the old heart of stone, in with a new heart and a new nature.
The same blood that Jesus pours into the font is also poured into the chalice for you. The church pulsates with the life-blood of Christ for you. This is why St. Augustine once said, "Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until we find our rest in Thee."
Jesus is better than a wizard; He is your Savior. His cross is your rest. He pours out His Spirit upon you. His Baptism gives you a new heart. His Absolution speaks forgiveness to hearts burdened by sin. His Supper strengthens your heart with His own body and blood.
Think about that the next time you sing, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest, And make our hearts Your place of rest; Come with Your grace and heav' nly aid, And fill the hearts which You have made. (LSB 498:1)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.