Reflections: June 30, 2020

Tuesday of the Third Week after Trinity

By Alexander Lange
Today's Reading: Micah 7:18-20
Daily Lectionary:
Joshua 5:1-6:5; Acts 10:1-17

You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When things get lost at sea, they tend to stay lost. The sea is big and it is deep. The water is full of currents, moving things around. There are great chasms and canyons in the ocean that are pitch black -- so dark, in fact, that God gave some fish their own little lights to navigate in the dark!

Sometimes the Bible pictures God's keeping a record in a book -- a record of every person and every deed committed by each person. The Bible describes God's opening the books on the Day of Judgment. This is some heavy Law. God noticed your sins. He will remember them. He recorded them, after all.

What would happen if God took that book and tossed it into the sea? What would happen if your sins were not recorded forever, but were thrown into the deepest, darkest part of the ocean? There can be no condemnation if there are no sins. There can be no punishment without a record of wrongdoing.

You were born into sin. You inherited the sin of Adam. You were guilty the moment you took your first breath. So God provided an ocean. He plunged you and your sins into water -- the same kind of water found in the sea. He plunged you into the baptismal font and when you emerged you were sinless. Your sins were left behind in the water sanctified by the blood of Jesus.

This Baptism wasn't a one-time event covering the sins you had previously committed. You live in your Baptism. Whenever you add to your record of sins, you return to that font. You drown your sins through contrition and emerge cleansed by the blood of Christ, believing that Jesus died for you.

Whenever the Law is preached and causes you to repent, and whenever the Gospel is pronounced and you believe, you are being dipped into the water again. Any sin plunged into these waters can never be found again. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus, once with sinners numbered, Full obedience was Your path; You, by death, have consecrated Water in this saving bath: Dying to the sin of Adam, Rising to a life of grace; We are counted with the righteous, Over us the cross You trace. ("Jesus, Once with Sinners Numbered" LSB 404, st. 4)
- Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of  Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.

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