November 17, 2023
Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 36:22-28
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 37:27)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Sin loves to eat at us. Even if it’s not bugging you all the time, you still find yourself bothered at times. You just can’t get over it! If it wasn’t bad enough looking at your sinful heart, we also hear that sin is a beast ready to pounce and consume you (Genesis 4:7). 6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Our sin and the devil are actively working to rule us and we have no problem with it.
It’s all a matter of what your All-knowing and Almighty God says about it. It’s the part we don’t want to think about. While no one else may know except you, there is someone who always knows: your God. He sees no life, no color, no blood pulsing from your heart of stone. We are dead in our sins.
Ezekiel was not only consoling Israel who were brought into their own land, but he was foretelling of the new covenant God has given to us. The name of God, the Word of God is made flesh and dwelt among us. As the Word made flesh is crucified for you, blood and water burst forth from His side to cleanse you. That’s why Ezekiel connects the name of God, with God washing us clean and giving us a new heart. Daily as we live out our Baptism we are reminded that we are part of the family of God. Stony hearts are ripped out and new hearts of flesh are given to us. And your hearts are alive, full of color and live, hearts that are now the temple of God. In Baptism your veins now pulse with the blood of Christ in you.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Sin, disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ! I have comfort even stronger: Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice. Should a guilty conscience seize me, since my baptism did release me In a dear forgiving flood, sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood? (LSB 594:2)
– Pastor Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock. AR.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.