Reflections: January 8, 2021
Friday after the Epiphany
By William K. Stottlemyer
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things. (Ephesians 3:8-9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Paul was chosen by God as the apostle to the Gentiles even though he had done great harm to the Church of God. On the road to Damascus, Jesus Christ revealed the light of His holy truth and opened the heart and mind of this sinner. When the truth of the Gospel was proclaimed to this one held captive by the Law, his entire life changed. One who once hated Jesus and sought to destroy the Church by putting to death all who followed The Way, came to see the truth of Holy Scripture because of God's grace. Paul, the least of all the saints, was forgiven of all his sins and was given a calling to bring the light of Christ to all.
This the apostle Paul set out to do throughout all the days of his life, traveling from city to city and from land to land and proclaiming the message of salvation to all who would listen. He revealed the mystery of God, pointed out sin and the punishment of the Law, and proclaimed to everyone what Christ had done for all people by His suffering and death on the Cross.
What a great message for the Gentiles! What a great message for you! Christ Jesus died so that you might be forgiven of all your sins. He rose so that you, too, might rise again. This is the light that Paul proclaimed throughout his life, and it is the light that you have received by faith.
Because of this light, you have received the wisdom of God and are now able to live for Christ. Just like Paul, you do not lose hope in the midst of your suffering, for in this world all who are in Christ will suffer just as Jesus suffered. Our suffering will continue as long as sin, death, and the devil remain, yet by faith we live with boldness and confidence and with the sure and certain hope that our Lord will return to take us to heaven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You for calling the apostle Paul to share the message of salvation with the Gentiles. Continue to let Your Word be proclaimed so that all men might come to see the light of Your truth. Amen.
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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