Today's Reading: 2 Peter 3:3-14
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Have you noticed that the readings for this week, the last week of the Church year, are a little scary sounding? In all of them, the Lord is coming back and He’s coming with judgment. In today’s Epistle reading from St. Peter, we hear that the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. Earlier in the week, the Gospel reading taught us about the bridegroom showing up at strange hours of the night to surprise ten virgins waiting for his arrival. Then, in yesterday’s reading, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the judgment upon Israel and those whom had rejected their birthright. Plenty of judgment this week!
The church year is almost over, and next week will be Advent. In advent we will prepare ourselves for our Lord’s coming in the flesh. He comes to you now in His Body and Blood. There, at His altar, you eat and drink of these precious gifts given and shed for you, for the forgiveness of your sins.
The Lord executes His judgment upon you in His coming. The Lord’s judgment is that you are forgiven! This is the judgment proclaimed from the Cross on Good Friday when Jesus says “It is finished.” This is the judgment proclaimed as your sins were drowned in the waters of Holy Baptism and you were clothed in Jesus Christ, making you a Christian. This is the judgment proclaimed as you take and eat of His Body and Blood under the lowly means of bread and wine for the forgiveness of your sins. This is the judgment the Lord proclaims in sending us a savior in Advent to be delivered to us on Christmas. This is the judgment the Lord proclaims in coming again to take us to heavenly glory here during the Last Sunday of the Church Year.
The Lord is coming, and when He comes in His fullness it will be quite a surprise to us all. We will rejoice as the Lord proclaims the same judgment already declared to you: you are forgiven!
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
My God desires the soul’s salvation; My soul He too, desires to save. Therefore with Christian resignation All earthly troubles I will brave. His will be done eternally: What pleases God, that pleases me. (LSB 719.3)