Reflections: January 19, 2021
Tuesday of the Second Week after the Epiphany
By William K. Stottlemyer
"I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The Lord.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." (Exodus 33:19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The goodness of the Lord is about to pass by Moses, but he cannot see it. The glory of the Lord, the face of the Lord, is too great for sinful man to see. So in His grace and mercy, God places His hand over Moses, sheltering him until He goes by. Then God removes the hand, and Moses can see the back of the Lord. God is gracious to Moses for he has asked for something he cannot have. The Lord goes out of His way to show Moses that He will be with Moses no matter what.
Why Moses? What great things has this man done to deserve all these blessings given to him by God? Looking at the life of Moses, we can see that he is not greater than any other man. He has made mistakes, he has sinned, and there is nothing in his flesh that sets him apart. Yet, throughout his life the Lord has provided and cared for him. This has all been done because the Lord is gracious to whom He will be gracious.
So it is also for us. We are all sinners. We were conceived in sin, and we daily add to our sins in thought, word, and deed. We have done nothing to merit God's grace and mercy. However, God has chosen to show mercy to us by sending His Son into the world. Why? Because God is gracious to whom He will be gracious, and this is the heart of the Gospel. For God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus to suffer and die on the Cross so that we might receive eternal life. We have done nothing to earn it. It all comes by grace which is brought to us by the Holy Spirit. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God the Holy Ghost, who proceedest from the Father and the Son and with them art coeternal in one undivided substance, we worship Thee, we honor, praise, and magnify Thee, we thank Thee for Thy bounties; especially, that by grace Thou hast called us and brought us to the holy Christian faith and still unceasingly does perform Thy work in us. Because we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, or come to Him. Amen. (F. E. Pasche, Daily Bread [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1926], 234.)
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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