Reflections: June 20, 2020
Saturday of the First Week after Trinity
By Alexander Lange
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer. (From the Introit for the Second Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Much of the Bible is poetry, full of metaphors and images. Such language can speak to the heart better than literal prose and dogmatic formulas.
The Lord is your rock. When I think of a rock, I think of something sturdy, strong, and stable. Recently, I smashed open geodes with my daughter. Even with our hammers, it took a lot of effort to crack them open. My brothers and sisters, you are built on Jesus. Thus, you are on firm ground. This Rock makes you secure and stable.
Your Lord isn't just a rock. He is a mighty fortress. You don't merely have rock beneath your feet. You have rock all around you – impenetrable walls protecting you. You have been baptized into Christ. Since you are in Christ, the devil, the world, and death itself cannot harm you. They have to get through Jesus first. They tried to tear down Jesus, but this Fortress was raised up again.
Rocks and fortresses are inanimate objects. You must go to such objects. You must enter a fortress to benefit from its protection. You must build your house on the rock to benefit from its stability. But a deliverer or a rescuer is a person – a person who seeks you out. Your Lord didn't wait for you to come to Him. He pursued you. He saw that you were in danger and He came to your aid. He entered this world as a man to save your life, even at the cost of His.
Then Jesus sent to you another Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes to you in water, in Word, in bread and wine. He comes to enlighten your mind, to absolve you of your sins, and to bestow on you everlasting life. Who is better than a stable rock, a secure fortress, or a mighty deliverer? Your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus' blood and righteousness; No merit of my own I claim But wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. ("My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less" LSB 575, st. 1)
– Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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