In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Tomorrow the Lutheran church celebrates Reformation Day. The first Lutheran confessors were brave men. They lived in the confidence that the words of Psalm 119:48 were true. Were they to confess the truth of God’s Word before the rulers of their age, they believed that they would not be put to shame. And what truth did they confess? How about this from the Introit for Reformation Day? “The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
We take our refuge in the redeeming work of God’s only Son, Jesus. He has redeemed our life by exchanging His life for ours. His death on the Cross destroys the power of sin and death. In Jesus we are free from the shame and guilt of our sin. So, we might be tempted to do some fist-bumping over our great heritage as Lutherans. After all, we believe we get the whole salvation thing right–righter than anyone else.
Yet it just might be time for a bit of garment rending and godly repentance. We, too, often take our Lutheran birthright for granted and allow the pride of self to gain the upper hand. We fear, love and trust in many things to the exclusion of God.
In repentance and faith, we turn to that which is most sure. We confess with our forefathers in the faith, “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:27-28).
This gives us the confidence to stand and confess the truth like our spiritual fathers. We, too, have confidence to confess justification by faith, for Jesus’ sake. And we will not be ashamed in the doing of it. “And take they our life, goods, fame, child, wife, though these all be gone, our vict’ry has been won; the kingdom ours remaineth” (“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” LSB 656, st.4). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch