Reflections: August 4, 2021
Wednesday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
But deliver us from evil. (Small Catechism: Lord's Prayer, Seventh Petition)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It's dark down here. There's a lot of evil in the world. It's one of the rare places we can agree with the atheists. The difference is that we can find an evil one, the devil, stirring the pot. We can label the roots of so many of the evil things men do to each other in the Ten Commandments. Even if you don't know the name of it, though, the prayer stands. We want to be free from it. Deliver us from evil. Deliver us from everything that works for our harm under the kingdom of Satan.
We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.
If you make this a future event, Christianity becomes nothing more than a race to the end, which is why so many Christians talk about life in heaven more than life today. If you see God delivering you from evil everywhere His name is hallowed, everywhere His kingdom is manifest, and everywhere His will is done, there can be comfort today, too. You were delivered from evil where God brought you His Holy Name and given You His Holy Spirit. You can find deliverance from evil in God's Church. Here, your sins are forgiven, and you are given an identity not rooted in shame and vice. Here, you are tied to the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting in a way that even the prince of this world cannot undo.
Here, you are kept safe and secure until at last you join the Church triumphant at rest. In all of it, the comfort lies in the source of deliverance, not the distance you happen to be from the evil. God remains the source of every good, even in the face of death. He has already worked a blessed end for you upon the Cross, that even in the darkest of days when evil seems to pervade everything, you can look to your victory in Christ's death and find certainty that you are already delivered. The difference between the Church triumphant and the Church militant, the saints in heaven and the saints on earth, isn't that one has been finally delivered and the other is still waiting for it. All of us are delivered from evil, it's just that some of us who are at rest can see it a little clearer. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
From evil, Lord, deliver us; The times and days are perilous. Redeem us from eternal death, And, when we yield our dying breath, Console us, grant us calm release, And take our souls to You in peace. ("Our Father, Who from Heaven Above" LSB 766, st.8)
-Rev. Harrison Goodman is the pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
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