"And He said, 'Much more blessed is the one who hears the Word of God and keeps it!'" (St. Luke 11:14-28)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. I thought Oculi was all about our eyes being ever on the Lord. Today Jesus, for our salvation, directs us to our ears!
There is no Oculi without hearing the Word of God! Our eyes cannot be fixed on Jesus if our ears aren't hearing His Word. For Faith flows from hearing the Word of God! St. Paul says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Jesus delivers His faith to us in our ears.
When Jesus cast out a demon in this week's Gospel lesson, He said that the kingdom of God came upon them. But you and I weren't there, were we? So, how does the Kingdom of God come to us? The Small Catechism answers:
God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity. (The Lord's Prayer, Second Petition)
Jesus lived a perfect life in our place. He was faithful unto death, even death on the Cross. There on the Cross, Jesus won salvation for us. After three days, God raised Jesus from the dead and destroyed death for us.
We can't go back to the Cross. How does that salvation come to us? In the Word! What He won on the Cross, Jesus delivers to us in the Word. We can't go back to the Cross, nor do we have to. Jesus brings all that He won for us on the cross to our ears in the preached Word.
Faith hears the Word and we are saved. Faith receives Jesus in the Word. Is hearing the Word important? Hearing is everything!
Only Jesus can make Oculi all about hearing His Word! How blessed are the ones who hear the Word and keep it!
Our eyes...no, our ears are ever on the Lord, for He has saved us from the pit! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
"If my sins give me alarm And my conscience grieve me, Let Thy cross my fear disarm, Peace of conscience give me. Grant that I may trust in Thee And Thy holy Passion. If His Son so loveth me, God must have compassion." (TLH 140, v. 5)
Higher Things Reflections are written by Rev. George F. Borghardt III, Assistant Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Conroe, TX