Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Today's Reading: Ephesians 5:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 35:1-29; Mark 9:33-50

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) (Ephesians 5:8-9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You didn't go from darkness to light by your own power. And you don't walk in the light on your own, either. When Paul tells us to "walk as children of the light" he means that we live as those who are baptized into Christ. To "walk as children of the light" is the same as to "walk in love," as Paul says above. In other words, it is to live in Christ.

Living in Christ is, first of all, living in the forgiveness of sins. Your baptism delivered to you the forgiveness Jesus won on the Cross. His taking your place is bestowed on you at the font. In Holy Absolution and Holy Communion, you are given the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation that Jesus accomplished by His death on Calvary and His resurrection on Easter. To walk in the light means to live that life which confesses and believes in the gifts God gives us on account of Jesus.

But this walking in love and in the light is also something for your neighbor. Just as little as you can defeat the devil on your own (give up that idea!), so those around you can't do it, either. So you live as one who lives and serves them. And, most of all, you live as one who forgives others. The devil would love for you to hold their sins against them or to remind them of their faults. But you live for them and tell them that it's not so. They have been forgiven in Christ. And just as little as He treats you as your sins deserve, so you don't treat others as their sins deserve.

That life of repentance and faith, which turns away from selfish sins of darkness and lives in the grace and forgiveness of Jesus--is what Jesus has called you to and given you through His Holy Gifts. Now you walk in Christ, in love, and in the light. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

The people that in darkness sat A glorious light have seen; The light has shined on them who long in shades of death have been, In shades of death have been. (The People That in Darkness Sat, LSB 412:1)

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