Reflections: August 14, 2020
Friday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By David Magruder
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short…For the present form of this world is passing away. (1 Corinthians 7:29a, 31b)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The appointed time has grown very short. The present form of this world is passing away. Some days those words ring so true. We see the disruption and frustration that sin brings into this world. Our graduation celebrations are cancelled because of a virus. We are isolated away from our friends at school, church, and work. Weddings are postponed indefinitely. The present form of this world is passing away.
Yet some days, Paul's words sound just too negative for us. We have joy. We are free from anxiety in our callings. We become betrothed to another and rejoice.
So what should our view of life look like? A gloom that paralyzes us or unbridled joy? God's Word shoots it right down the middle for us with words from the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 7. Applying wisdom that can only come from God, Paul reminds us to live life with one eye on this life and one eye on the Last Day. During the time that remains for us in this world, we focus on things that are eternally important. That doesn't mean that we should ignore the joys and gift of this life, like friendships or marriage, but that our lives would not be preoccupied in this "passing away" world.
In another place, Paul puts it this way: "…as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing and possessing everything" (2 Corinthians 6:10). What a freeing way to live life! We know that Jesus has overcome the world. Our sins are washed away in His blood. Baptism has joined us to Jesus forever. His Body and Blood feed and sustain us. We are free to live in joy and free to look forward to the new heavens and new earth, the home of righteousness. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
The night will soon be ending; the dawn cannot be far. Let songs of praise ascending now greet the Morning Star! All you whom darkness frightens with guilt or grief or pain, God's radiant Star now brightens and bids you sing again. ("The Night Will Soon Be Ending" LSB 337, st.1)
-Rev. David Magruder is pastor of Peace With Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, CO.
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