Reflections: October 26, 2020
Monday of the 20th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. These words of Isaiah are often quoted when something disastrous happens that we were not expecting. As if we would never cause an earthquake or a baby to die, but things like this happen, so we often think God has something else up His sleeve.
But these words of the prophet mean much more than just "God does stuff we don't understand." They mean that His whole way of dealing with us is just unthinkable and unfathomable because He doesn't give us what we deserve.
When bad things happen, the Old Adam can only conclude that God is out to get us. Pay us back. Punish us. What the Old Adam doesn't understand is that everything that happens is given by God to drive us to Christ, who saves us without any of our own effort or merit or worthiness.
God's ways are not our ways because He brings us into His kingdom without our deserving it or working for it. God's ways are not our ways because He gives up His own Son into suffering and death to save us while we are still sinners. God's ways are not our ways because He gives us what is Christ's and gives Jesus what is ours. God's ways are not our ways because He raised Jesus from the dead. His ways are not our ways because He gives us life when we think we only have death in store for us. His ways are not our ways because He uses water and words and bread and wine to save and forgive us.
Indeed, the Lord's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Our ways and thoughts turn to how we can impress God or avoid Him. But His ways and thoughts are all about saving you and giving you everlasting life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Jesus Christ, my Lord, So meek in deed and word, You suffered death to save us Because Your love would have us Be heirs of heav'nly gladness When ends this life of sadness. ("In God, my Faithful God" LSB 745, st.4)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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