Today’s Reading: Isaiah 29:17-24
Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest? (Isaiah 29:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. With the fall into sin, the world was turned upside down. The lush garden of the Lord was turned into a wilderness of thickets and thorns and all sorts of things that can hurt you. Instead of perfectly formed bodies that worked at full capacity, sin brought sicknesses like deafness, blindness, cancer, flus and viruses, muscle aches, papercuts, and hangnails. Instead of listening to the Word of the Lord, we closed our ears and sinned against God and one another. We have lived in this broken, sinful world so long that we don’t even realize how upside-down the world is.
The prophet Isaiah comes with words of turning the upside down world right side up, and it sounds strange to our ears. In a little while, Isaiah proclaimed, God will come to restore all things to the way He created them to be. There will be a day, he promises, when the desolate wilderness will be a fruit-filled field, when the deaf will hear the words of a book proclaimed, when the blind will be able to see, and the poor who have had no reason to rejoice will sing for joy because the Holy One of Israel has acted to redeem creation.
This restoration of creation began in the life and ministry of Jesus. He has made the deaf to hear the Word of the Holy Scriptures that proclaim life in His Name. He has opened the eyes of all who are spiritually blind and dead in their sins and trespasses by calling them out of darkness into His marvelous light. Sinners are forgiven on account of the craziest upside down action ever to occur: The Son of God dies! Yet by this action, the Lord redeems the world, and sets the upside down world right side up. He has opened your ears to His Word of salvation and declared you His child, the work of His hands in Holy Baptism.
You are still living in the upside-down world and are not able to see this restoration fully, but by His death, Jesus has turned things right side up. One day He will make it all visible when He returns in glory and brings you into His right-side-up eternity, so that you may stand in awe of the God who saves you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Creator of the stars of night, Thy people’s everlasting Light: O Christ, Redeemer, save us all And hear Thy servants when they call. (“Creator of the Stars of Night” LSB 351, st.1)
-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
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.