Today's Reading: Luke 10:1-9
Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Luke 10:8-9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In Jesus, the kingdom of God has come near to us; for wherever Christ and faith are, there is the kingdom of God.
As Martin Luther explains in the Small Catechism, "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.”
So Jesus sends out His disciples to announce the coming of the kingdom of God. His Word is their sole weapon against the wolves that hem their way, for they are not sent out to declare war, but "to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61-1-3)
The Holy Spirit has also graced your pastor with His Word of authority and power. So, when your pastor: speaks and acts by Christ's command; baptizes in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; pronounces the absolution in the stead and by the command of my LORD Jesus Christ; serves you the blood of Christ shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins and declares to you in the sermon the same Good News Jesus' disciples preached in all the cities where they were received, then you can be certain that the kingdom of God has come to you, too. By believing this you are leading godly lives here in time and there in eternity.
God's Word forever shall abide, No thanks to foes, who fear it; For God Himself fights by our side With weapons of the Spirit. Were they to take our house, Goods, honor, child, or spouse, Though life be wrenched away. They cannot win the day. The Kingdom's ours forever! (LSB 657:4)
Registration for the 2013 Higher Things Conferences, From Above, is now open! Register today at fromabove2013.org.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.