Reflections: November 23, 2020
Monday of the Last Week
By Aaron Fenker
I will rejoice in Jerusalem and delight in My people, and a sound of weeping or a sound of crying will never be heard in her. (Isaiah 65:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We rejoice in God because of what He’s done for us. He is our Joy because He is our Salvation. He is our Delight because He is our Savior. “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Worthy is Christ the Lamb whose blood set us free to be people of God!”
The Father’s delight in His Son. The Son’s delight is in His Bride, the Church, the new and true and even heavenly Jerusalem. He gave Himself up for Her, making her holy through the washing of water with the Word (Ephesians 5:25-26). His joy is saving you: “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame, and is seated at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
It’s not for anything in you or me. There’s nothing delightful in us, spiritually speaking. Sure we have all the wonderful gift and talents God gives us—“every good gift is from above.” (James 1:17) But these things, as wonderful as they are for loving and serving our neighbor, do us no good before God. “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples” (Deuteronomy 7:7). “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).
He will rejoice over you eternally. He will fill you with joy. There will be no more crying or mourning. There will be no more death. No more sickness. No more pain (Revelation 7:17, 21:4). “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind” (Isaiah 65:17). The Spirit will rejoice to give you eternal life, that we would share in the never ending marriage feast that the Father His throwing for His Son and His Bride the Church, the New, From-Above Jerusalem (Galatians 4).
When the troubles of this life surround you, know that it’s already been undone in the death and resurrection of Jesus. There the eternal party kicked off. (People rose from the dead on Good Friday!) You’re a part of that. You’ve died and risen with Christ. You’ve heard the Absolution—heaven’s gates are opened to you. You’ve received the Body and Blood of Jesus, which is the Lord’s Victory Feast. The eternal life, delivered in the forgiveness of sins, is yours right now. The eternal life of the Last Day will be yours, too.
Jesus has made all things new, and He will make all things new. You’re a new creation now through Baptism, and your will be resurrected in glory on the Last Day. You’ve had the Supper now, and you’ll have the eternal Banquet later. Then you won’t here any crying or mourning, but rejoicing. You’ll rejoice forever seeing face to face what you’ve received now by faith. And God’s overjoyed to give it to you. It’s yours. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS. He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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