Reflections: October 10, 2020
Saturday of the 17th Week after Trinity
By Jacob Ehrhard
I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." (From the Introit for the 18th Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen. Sometimes pastor's right on point with his sermon. Sometimes the organ lifts you up into the heavens. Sometimes you're surrounded by the full-throated voices of 2,000 youth singing the hardest hymns in the book in four-part harmony at a Higher Things conference, and you think that even heaven can't be this good.
But sometimes it can be a real drag going to church. Sometimes Pastor preaches boring sermons. Sometimes he chants like an alley cat. Sometimes the organist hits as many wrong notes as she hits right ones And sometimes, you were just up late last night partying--er, studying. What's there to be glad about?!?
"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord'" (Psalm 122:1). The Lord's house gladdens us, not because of its outward beauty, its compelling speakers, or its other-worldly experiences. The Lord's house gladdens because of the message that is proclaimed there. "'Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!' For my others and companions' sake I will say, 'Peace be within you!'" (Psalm 122:7-8)
The peace that makes us glad in the Lord's house is a peace that the world cannot give. It's a peace that surpasses all understanding. It's the peace of being reconciled to God. It's the peace of sins forgiven.
"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord,'" because the house of the Lord is the only place in the whole world where the Gospel of peace is proclaimed. It's the only place where you are directed to the scars in Jesus' hands and side--scars that say, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19-20). It's the only place in the entire world where the Body and Blood of the One who died and rose are given for you. Indeed, "I was glad when they said to me 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'" In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
Grant then, O God, Your will be done, That, when the church bells are ringing, Many in saving faith may come Where Christ His message is bringing: "I know My own; My own know Me. You, not the world, My face shall see. My peace I leave with you. Amen." ("Built on the Rock" LSB 645, st.5)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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