Reflections: August 30, 2020
The 12th Sunday after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:35)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Our English Bible tells us that this man's tongue was loosed by Jesus and he spoke "plainly." But the Greek word is "orthos" as in "orthodox." He didn't speak plainly, he spoke correctly: He spoke truth. How can a guy who is not schooled in the Torah of Israel say anything right about God? Because God-in-the-flesh is the One who opened His mouth.
"O Lord, open my lips; and my mouth shall declare your praise." Here's the truth: Without Jesus' dying for our sins, without His resurrection from the dead, and without the preaching of this Good News and faith given by the Holy Spirit, we could never say anything right about God at all! Just think of all the opinions and ideas about God that people express. You could almost think that there are as many "gods" as there are people with opinions in this world! How do we sort the truth from lies?
Jesus has to open your lips. He has to open your ears to His Word and then that Word, by the Spirit, comes out of your mouth. Think about when you pray and sing the liturgy at church. You hear God's Word. Gods' Word comes out. The hymns and canticles and order of service we sing is the very Word of God that goes in our ears and comes out of our mouths. We could never do that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Just as that man could not hear anything or say anything right until Jesus healed Him, so we, in our sins, can't hear and can't speak.
In the waters of Holy Baptism, your ears were opened and your tongue was loosed. In the Supper your Lord has touched your tongue with His own flesh and blood. Now your ears and mouth are servants of God, designed to hear His Word and to speak His Word and praises. This is the gift and work of Jesus. It's possible because that is how He works, to do for us what we could never do for ourselves. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and merciful God, whose gift it is that Your faithful possess all things pertaining to faith and life, we implore You that we may so faithfully cling to Your promises in this life that we fail not finally to attain to Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the 12th Sunday after Trinity)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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