Reflections: Monday of the First Week after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7

Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 19-32; Romans 2:17-29

“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6-7)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What if I told you that God has a picture of you on His refrigerator in heaven and it makes Him smile every time He passes by it? What if I told you that God sees no sin at all in your past that diminishes that smile? That you are completely holy and righteous in His sight, even right now? What if I told you that God promises you nothing will change His mind about you tomorrow, that this same judgment will be yours all the way through to the Last Day and beyond?

I know. “That’s not true for me,” you say, “because you don’t know me.” At least, not like God does, right? Well, that’s my loss, not God’s. Because here’s what you’re forgetting: God promises never to deal with you apart from the prism and promise of Calvary. That’s the promise He made to the whole world the day Jesus suffered and died for us on the Cross. It’s the promise He made with you personally the day you were baptized. And it’s the promise He keeps putting into your ears with every Absolution and sermon you hear from your pastor and every time He prepares His Table before you with Jesus’ Body and Blood. “For you, for the forgiveness of sins.” 

You are the prisoner whom Jesus sets free every day, from every sin. You are the one Jesus brings forth from the darkness. Your blind eyes are the eyes God opens by making Jesus His forever promise to you. 

And even if you are “a bruised reed” right now, or a “faintly burning wick,” God always promises you Jesus: He’s got this, now. He’s got you, now. And He’s never letting go. 

That’s the covenant, the promise, that God makes with you in Jesus. And He’s not at all discouraged about it. It’s why, because of Jesus, He smiles every time He passes His refrigerator. Your face is on it, after all. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand; I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light. Take my hand, precious Lord; lead me home. (“Precious Lord, Take My Hand” LSB 739, st.1)

-Rev. Bradley Drew is pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Metairie, LA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch