Reflections: June 2, 2020
By Alexander Lange
So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep." (John 10:7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus calls Himself the Door, the entrance into the sheepfold. If you want to belong to the flock, to God’s family, you must enter through Jesus. Later, Jesus will say that He is the Way, because no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
This is the Scandal of Particularity. There is only one particular way a person can be saved—through faith in Jesus Christ. The Mormon won't come to the Father through his moral efforts, the Buddhist won’t experience true peace through his meditations, and the secularist won't discover the truth through the probing of his reason. The world finds this biblical truth scandalous. Perhaps you are a bit scandalized by the condemnation of unbelievers as well.
Still, there is another biblical truth: God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Therefore, He sent the Spirit to call all people through the Gospel and to gather all people into His Church. It is the Spirit who makes men into pastors, teachers, and missionaries. It is the Spirit who plants congregations in every town and city. It is the Spirit who puts the Gospel on the lips of Christians as they carry out their vocations.
Our sins merit condemnation. Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world. In Christ there is forgiveness. This is why He is the only Door and the only Way.
It is the Spirit who leads us to the Door and who puts us on the Way. He brings the Word to all nations, so that we might hear the voice of our Shepherd, follow Him, and receive abundant life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and ever-living God, You fulfilled Your promise by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to unite disciples of all nations in the cross and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. By the preaching of the Gospel spread this gift to the ends of the earth; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Pentecost Tuesday)
- Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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