Reflections: February 8, 2021
Monday of Sexagesima
By Jacob Ehrhard
It shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11b)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God's Word cannot fail. It always does what it says it will. It's a performative Word. Our words don't have that power, though we wish they did. We would like to speak reality into existence. It's a good thing that we can't, though. If you turned on your phone's voice recorder for an hour and listened to the words that you speak, you'd be ashamed. Slander, gossip, swearing, cursing, lying, deceiving. It's a good thing your words can't accomplish that which you purpose.
But God's Word is different. "It shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." God's Word creates the reality He speaks. "And God said, ‘Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). God cannot lie because what He says becomes true. His Word cannot fail.
God sends His Word for two primary reasons. The first is His command. He speaks what we ought and ought not to do. But we don't listen. Still, His command accomplishes something. It's a Word of condemnation, a Word of curse, a Word sent to bring death, if we don't do the things it commands.
But the second reason God sends His Word is in answer to the first. Since we do not accomplish what His Word commands, and so fall under His condemnation, God has accomplished it Himself. He sent His Word in the flesh to keep His commands, but also to suffer its condemnation. The Word of God made flesh speaks another Word--a Word of promise.
God sends His promise to forgive our sins and restore us to grace. He sends His Word into our hearts to germinate, grow, and bear fruits of righteousness. God's Word cannot fail. It will succeed. It will accomplish His purposes. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty Father, bless the Word Which through Your grace we now have heard. Oh, may the precious seed take root, Spring up, and bear abundant fruit! ("Almighty Father, Bless the Word" Lutheran Service Book 923, st.1)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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