Reflections: March 18, 2021
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
By Aaron T. Fenker
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Small Catechism: The Eighth Commandment)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord gave you His Name in Holy Baptism. There He gave you the Name above every name. A good Name, the best Name, His Name. Jesus' Name, the Father's Name, the Spirit's Name--one Name for you. "I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
You don't have to make a name for yourself. Before the Creator of the universe you can't get a better name than His own Name that He gave to you. And to make a name for yourself, which you don't actually have to do, you certainly don't have to tear down the names of others , ripping them to shreds to do it. Gossiping, lying, tattling won't make you any better, won't claim a better name for yourself. Oh, sure, it might make you look better in the eyes of some people, it might even make you more popular for awhile. But in the process you actually set aside the Almighty God who's created you, redeemed you, and sanctified you. You set Him aside by setting aside His Name, choosing instead yourself and your own name.
Jesus bore a bad reputation for you. He bore the bad reputation you've been given by others. He bore the bad reputation you give to others. He was crucified as a thief, as a sinner, shedding His blood to save you. He rose from the dead, clean reputation forever. "Worthy is Christ the Lamb who was slain!" And that's what you have in His Name, baptized into His Name, having faith in His Name. "For there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
You now use His Name, and even your own name, for the sake of others. For the sake of their reputation you forgive them, bear the shame with them, for them, if possible. Not to make a name for yourself. Why would you keep trying that old game? That's a game you'll eternally lose in hell. You don't have to make any name for yourself. You already have the best Name ever. You're baptized. You've got God's Name. His for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Baptized into Your name most holy, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, claim a place, though weak and lowly, Among Your saints, Your chosen host. Buried with Christ and dead to sin, Your Spirit now shall live within. ("Baptized into Your Name Most Holy" LSB 590, st.1)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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