Reflections: October 11, 2021
Monday of the 19th Week after Trinity
By Eli Lietzau
"Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jacob is on the run. He is in fear for his life. He had tricked his father into giving him a blessing that shouldn't have been his. He had stolen from his brother (not once, but twice) something that belonged to him. He had made a mess of his life all because he found it impossible to stand in the promises of the Lord.
The Old Testament is filled with scoundrels. The fathers of the Church are not the great and pious men that we sometimes think them to be. They all have their times of doubt. They all have their times of deep and egregious sin. None of them have fulfilled the Law placed before them. But they are all counted as righteous: not for the sake of themselves, but for the sake of Christ.
The sinner in us hears the promises of our God and then goes about trying to make them our own. How foolish! We can't make these things our own. God is the One who has promised these things to us and so He is the One who is going to bring them to fruition. But the sinner always wants to give God a helping hand. The problem, of course, is that our "helping hand" always makes everything worse.
We are all like Jacob in that way: God has given us the promise of life and salvation but we go and screw everything up. However, the Christian must not fear, even when he has turned his life into a giant mess. For we have a God who is faithful, even and especially when we are faithless. And so He still has the authority to bring about good, our ultimate good, our eternal good, even after all of the evil that we have brought upon ourselves. Fear not, fellow sinners! We have a Jesus who is greater than all of our sin. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen
Yea, Lord, 'twas Thy rich bounty gave My body, soul, and all I have In this poor life of labor. Lord, grant that I in ev'ry place May glorify Thy lavish grace And help and serve my neighbor. Let no false doctrine me beguile; Let Satan not my soul defile Give strength and patience unto me To bear my cross and follow Thee. Lord, Jesus Christ, my God and Lord, my God and Lord In death Thy comfort still afford. ("Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart" LSB 708, st.2)
- Rev. Eli Lietzau is the pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.
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