Reflections: December 4, 2020
Friday of the First Week of Advent
By Bradley Drew
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. While we were playing in our basement during a thunderstorm one night, the lights flickered and went out. The darkness paralyzed me with fear. I couldn't see anything. All I could hear was that fiery furnace where, as a little child, I knew the boogey man lived. I cried out. Help soon arrived as Mom came racing down the stairs, flashlight in hand. I could see her face, her smile. How sweet that rescue.
Like that basement, our hearts can be dark and scary places, too. We are quick to believe God is kind and good when things go our way, but not so sure when they don't. We are quick to think, "God has done everything He can to save us, but the rest is up to us now. The ball is back in our court, and we must return serve somehow and win salvation by showing God a righteousness of our own doing." Dark and scary, right?
Dark and scary is all there would be if all we had to follow were "cunningly devised myths" like these. But, we have more. So much more. Along with James and John, Peter had the Father's voice at Jesus' Transfiguration saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to Him!" (Luke 9:35). Peter says you and I have something even more solid than that--"the prophetic Word." The Word of God. The written down Word. And what does it say? It tells of Jesus' birth to bear our sin and be our Savior. It tells of His life for us, His death for us, His rising for us.
This Word says that, baptized into Christ, sunny skies or stormy, you and I are clothed with Christ now. Always a joy, then, to our heavenly Father. This Word says God has done it all for our salvation by Jesus' death for us on the Cross. A promise spoken in every Absolution and sermon we hear. This Word says no matter how things go, Jesus is always there for us at His Supper with His Body and Blood, "for you, for the forgiveness of sins."
And there I am, again, a little child, alone in that basement, dark and scary. Then, as if racing down the stairs with flashlight in hand, I can see Jesus, God's face, God's smile, God's love--all because of the Word. Thank God for His Word! How sweet the rescue. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous; Bright with Thine own holiness, Glorious now, we press toward glory, And our lives our hopes confess. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!" ("Thy Strong Word" LSB #578, st.3)
-Rev. Bradley Drew is the pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.
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