Monday of the Second Week of Lent

Today's Reading: Genesis 32:22-32

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 18:1-15; Mark 6:14-34

And He said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But he said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" (Genesis 32:26)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This week in Lent, we're giving up trying to impress the Lord, and instead we're coming to Him on the basis of His own words and promises. Notice that when Jacob is wrestling with the Lord, and the Lord "cheats" and hits Jacob's hip socket, Jacob still won't let go. But he doesn't say, "See, Lord? I'm pretty strong! Now you have to do what I want!" Rather, he says, "I'm not letting go until You bless me!"

Faith clings to God, not on the basis of how good we are or how much determination we have, but on the basis of God's promises. Jesus is a Savior. That means He saves, so we won't let go until He does His saving, like He promises.

Of course, that's exactly what He came to do: to save you and save the world. He gave His life into death for your sins and was raised from the dead on Easter. He washed you and made a promise at the font that you belong to Him now. He absolved you by the words of your pastor with a great big "You are forgiven!" He has given you His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Now, it's on the basis of these things that you come to Jesus and ask for His help and tell Him that He's got to treat you the way those promises say.

So in the midst of this life and your trouble with parents, or significant other, or teachers and school, or work, or sickness, or mental illness, or particular sins, or whatever--when it seems the Lord is absent or even actively against you--you can cry out, "I won't let go until you bless me! Treat me like your baptized child! One you absolved! One you have forgiven and given your Body and Blood to! And even if things look bleak, I'm going to trust that you're going to work it all out for my good." And He will, because that's the kind of Savior Jesus is. He must bless you, and He has, in the giving of forgiveness and the promise of life everlasting. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

There is nothing worth comparing To this lifelong comfort sure! Open-eyed my grave is staring: Even there I'll sleep secure. Though my flesh awaits its raising, Still my soul continues praising: I am baptized into Christ; I'm a child of paradise! (God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It, LSB 594:5)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.