Today's Reading: Genesis 32:22-32
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. “Reminiscere. Remember me, O Lord.” Yahweh wrestles with Jacob, but it's morning and He's got to go. But Jacob won't let Him forget. “Bless me!” The Lord gives Jacob a new name, “Israel” which means “prince with God.” When the Lord gives you a name, He's promising to be your God and save you.
So the Lord has given you a name; it's the name put upon you in your baptism when the Father, Son and Holy Spirit mark you as their own treasured possession. With that name, you can cry out “Remember” and throw Christ's promises back at Him.
Of course, we forget God's promises in Jesus. It's why we despair. When things don't work out. When they get worse. When something bad happens. Then what? That's wrestling with God. And why does He wrestle with us? To teach us to trust in Him. To teach us to grab hold of Him with His own words and confess, “I will not let go until you bless me!”
That blessing comes down to us through Jacob-now-Israel's family line: Jesus. Born to save us. Crucified to save us. Risen to save us. The Savior who washes us with water and the Word and feeds us with His own body and blood.
The promise of your baptism, the promise of Christ's body and blood, the promise of absolution and the Good News that Christ has taken away your sins and won for you eternal life—these promises are what you throw back at the Lord when it seems He's trying to put you in a pretzel twist or, worse, just completely ignoring you. We know the good promises of God but sometimes it just seems as if they aren't real. That's called life under the cross, a hidden God who comes to us through water, word and body and blood but who by those gifts gives us victory over sin, death, devil, hell, and any other enemy who would seek to drag us into unbelief and despair. Your Lord can't forget. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Rise! To arms! With prayer employ you, O Christians, lest the foe destroy you; For Satan has designed your fall. Wield God's Word, the weapon glorious; Against all foes be thus victorious, For God protects you from them all. Fear not the hordes of hell, Here is Emmanuel. Hail the Savior! The strong foes yield to Christ, our shield, And we, the victors hold the field. (Rise! To Arms! With Prayer Employ You, LSB 668:1)