Reflections: Saturday of the Second Week after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Introit for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Daily Lectionary:Joel 1:1-20; Romans 10:1-21

I will tell of your name to my brothers;

 in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD,

 and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

For kingship belongs to the LORD,

 and he rules over the nations.

All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;

 before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive.

Posterity shall serve him;

 it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;

they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,

 that he has done it. (Psalm 22:22, 27-31 – The Introit for the Third Sunday after Epiphany)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Text of the Reflection. Who’s in charge here?  That’s a question a parent or a teacher might ask when things are getting out of hand.  Psalm 22 sees a world where things seem to be getting out of hand. The Messiah cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  He is surrounded by those who mock Him and shake their heads at him.  It certainly looks like things have gotten out of hand.  Yet, near the end of Psalm 22, it becomes clear that things are not out of hand at all.  All the earth will remember the work of the Lord because kingship belongs to the Lord.

No matter how it was intended, Jesus hanging on the cross under a sign that declared Him “The King of the Jews” seems out of control.  But the work of God is never out of control.  Instead, the Lord rules over the nations and over all creation from the cross.  How out of control and backwards looking is that?  But no matter what it looks like, the reality of the Lord ruling over all things in death and in resurrected life is exactly the way things are.  The Lord’s righteousness for you is seen in His death and resurrection.  From His cross flows mercy and grace for you.  You don’t have all things under control.  You might feel like you don’t have anything in control.  Kingship belongs to the Lord who loves you, and that is the best news for you.In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands,  For our offenses given,  But now at God’s right hand He stands,  And brings us life from heaven.Therefore let us joyful be, And sing to God right thankfully, Loud songs of alleluia! Alleluia! (Lutheran Service Book 458, stanza 1)

-Pastor Peter W. Ill is Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, Illinois.

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.