Reflections: October 24, 2020
Saturday of the 19th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness, In the midst of Your temple. (From the Introit for the 20th Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Lord's house, we think of lots of things besides His lovingkindness. In church, while we are singing and hearing the Word of God read and proclaimed, we often think about where we are going to eat after church. We think of the homework we have to do later. We think about that fight we had with someone. We think about that noisy kid a few pews up. We think about nothing at all. It seems that as soon as we're ready to hear God's Word, our sinful flesh tries to think about almost anything else.
And while your mind is wandering? The promises of Jesus are declared. Proclaimed. They are preached into your ears. It is by those promises that the Holy Spirit grabs hold of you and keeps you in the one, true faith, in His Christian Church.
The lovingkindness of God is that He doesn't kick us out when we aren't paying attention. Rather, He continues to deliver His mercy through His Word and gifts. He continues to proclaim Christ crucified for sinners. For you. He continues to absolve and feed sinners even when they haven't heard every word of the sermon.
Repent! Repent of not paying attention. Repent of letting your mind wander. Repent of finding things to think about and pay attention to other than the Word of God you are hearing. Repent and believe the Good News that the Word Christ is speaking to you is really Good News--a Word that saves sinners. For there, in the Divine Service of Jesus' Gifts, His lovingkindness is at work drawing your ears, heart, and mind back to His good gifts--always back to His gifts and your standing as a dear child of God for Jesus' sake. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
I thank Thee, Jesus, Sun from heaven, Whose radiance hath brought light to me; I thank Thee, who has richly given All that could make me glad and free; I thank Thee that my soul is healed By what Thy lips revealed. ("Thee Will I Love, My Strength, My Tower" LSB 693, st.3)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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