Reflections: Monday, The Fourth Week of Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Micah 6:1-8

Daily Lectionary: Zech. 9:1-17, 2 Timothy 2:1-26

“Hear what the LORD says: … “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!”  (Micah 1a, 3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In Epiphany, we celebrate that the light of Christ shines forth into the world, proclaiming the truth of His word —that people are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We celebrate that God has raised up people to serve in His church through the ages, from prophets and apostles, to pastors, teachers, parents, and every vocation.

God chose Micah to call Israel to repentance—to speak the truth in power to Israel (3:8). The princes in the government took bribes and oppressed the people with their injustice. The priests refused to perform sacrifices unless they were paid, and they practiced divination for money. The false-prophets proclaimed that the LORD would never bring trouble upon Israel in spite of their sins (See Micah 3:9-12).

Micah called Israel to repent (6:8) and to come to God for the forgiveness they desperately needed (7:18-20). But most importantly, Micah prophesied that one day the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and would rule faithfully over the people.

We learn from Micah how important it is for everyone to repent—in every station and vocation in life. We all need to remember that God loves justice, kindness, and humility. His Law defines righteousness and makes it clear how we are to live. Repentance teaches us to take God’s Law seriously. The Law shows how we are to live in love with all people. Repentance takes God’s command seriously that we are to love God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). 

But when we hear the Law, we learn that we have sinned against God and deserve punishment. So we run to Jesus for the forgiveness He won for us on the cross. He bestows his grace upon us in our Baptism, in the Supper, and in His Holy Word (That’s why we call them the Means of Grace). We are saved by His grace through faith. 

And having been forgiven, we strive to walk in love. The love we show does not earn forgiveness from God. We are forgiven freely by grace. But having been forgiven each day we strive for the justice, kindness and humility which God desires and our neighbor needs.

False messages about God permeated Israel in Micah’s day. False messages about God bombard us in our day, too. Micah preached the truth to the people so they would be saved. We thank God that His truth is still available to us. He has never abandoned His Church. So let us gather faithfully around the right preaching of the Gospel and serve one another in Christ.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

“My faithful God, You fail me never; Your promise surely will endure. O cast me not away forever if words and deeds become impure. Have mercy when I come defiled; Forgive, lift up, restore Your child.” (LSB 590 vs 3 Baptized into Your Name Most Holy)

-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

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.