Reflections: June 15, 2020
Monday of the First Week after Trinity
By Alexander Lange
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In our text from Genesis, we see Abram experiencing both doubt and faith. At first, Abram doubted God's promise, because he had no children. He assumes that Eliezer, his servant, will be his heir. Then, after God makes another promise, Abram believes.
Doubt is the opposite of faith, but the two often coexist in the same person. Although doubt and faith are in conflict with each other, they battle within the same person's heart. We see this in the Gospel of Mark, when a man says to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24).
Does your faith outweigh your doubt, or is it the other way around? Do you have a little, weak faith? In a sense, it doesn't matter. The size of your faith does not save you. The size of your Savior is far more important. Faith saves you because it clings to Christ. Faith doesn't save because it is a valuable virtue that impresses God. Faith saves because faith is dependence on Christ, who always saves those who rely on Him.
Still, we don't want our faith to whither completely. We don't want it to be submerged and drowned in despair. We don't want our faith in Christ to be replaced with a faith that clings to idols. So we go to the Divine Service, where we hear the promises of God. These promises elicit, nourish, and strengthen our faith. These promises point us to Jesus that we might cling to Him.
Whether in the Absolution, in the Scriptures, in the sermon, or at the Lord's Supper, you hear the same promise: "You are forgiven for the sake of Christ, who was crucified for you. You will live forever, because your Savior was raised from the dead." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Steadfast Faith)
― Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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