Today's Reading: Luke 7:11-17
Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen up among us"; and, "God has visited His people." (Luke 7:16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “God has visited His people.” The Bible uses that phrase in lots of places. It probably sounds a bit strange to our ears. When we hear that God visited perhaps we might imagine the Lord showing up with a suitcase, wearing His shorts and Hawaiian shirt to spend His vacation with us! Well, that phrase that the Lord “visits” His people DOES mean that the Lord shows up, but not for a cookout and some beach volleyball. No, when the Lord shows up, when the Lord “visits” He is doing something to save His people.
When the Lord “visits” Nain, a dead young man is raised to life. When the Lord “visits” His people in Egypt, He leads them out, across the Red Sea and into the Promised Land. When the people confess that the Lord has visited them, they probably don't know the half of it! For when Jesus comes, the Lord is here. God-in-the-flesh. The Lord Himself on earth, saving His people.
The greatest visitation that the Lord brings is when, in His flesh, He is dragged outside of Jerusalem and conquers sin on the cross. Then, having defeated sin, He mocks death by rising from the dead, too! That's the reason He can tell a widowed mother not to cry over her dead son, because He has conquered death. Proof? “Get up, kid.” More proof? Jesus Himself rises the Third Day and leaves the tomb behind! Death is done for.
How about you? The Lord has visited you. He visited you on the day He came to you in water and the Word at the holy font. He visits you every time you hear the Gospel read and preached and your pastor speak the Absolution. He visits you every time He puts into your mouth His body and blood to forgive your sins. Jesus shows up in His church, in His Word and Sacraments. And when Jesus shows up, you can always count on gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. That's God visiting His people! That's the Lord coming for you! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, we pray that Your grace may always go before and follow after us, that we may be continually given to all good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.