Reflections: January 11, 2021
Monday of the First Week after the Epiphany
By William K. Stottlemyer
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: "I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light to the nations." (Isaiah 42:5-6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In these words of Isaiah, we have a short yet powerful summary of who the Lord is and what He does for all. Our world exists because God created it. He alone formed the land, spread out the heavens in all their glory, and provides for all living things. You live, breathe, and flourish in this world on account of the Lord's breath being in you. In the midst of all the troubles and turmoil that fill this world and our lives, this is a comfort. God is in control of everything, His power and might are constant, and you need not fear anything.
This is a good thing for us to remember because our flesh and blood fear everything. Sin has so corrupted us that we are constantly focused on our own desires and impulses, and when we don't get what we expect, we are afraid. Our eyes are blinded by sin, and we seek not the light of God's justice, but rather the lying darkness of the dungeon. Prisoners of our own devices, we need Isaiah's reminder, for without it, we begin to believe that the world revolves around us and that we are in charge of everything. But revealed in the light of this Holy Scripture is the truth.
Jesus is the chosen servant of the Lord who alone brings forth justice to you and to all people. This justice comes by Christ's death on the Cross. On the Tree your Savior paid the price for your sins. Because of Jesus's sacrifice, you have been made righteous. By the Spirit of God, you are called to that righteousness. God takes your hand in Baptism, faith comes to you in the water and Word, and God keeps you in that faith by the power of His Holy Spirit all the days of your life. You are a light to the nations all because of Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for all things that You have made. Please help us to be ever mindful of the work You continue to do for us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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