Reflections: Saturday of the Third Week after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Introit for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (Psalm 107:1, 8, 24-25; antiphon: v.28-29)

Daily Lectionary: Zechariah 8:1-23; 2 Timothy 1:1-18

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (From the Introit for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany)   

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Tomorrow’s Introit speaks of God’s “steadfast love” (Psalm 107:1). That’s what always holds and lasts. For while this world is constantly tossing us about like a stormy sea, filled with one upheaval after another, one thing remains constant: the promise God has forever tied to the death of Jesus on the Cross for you. You are forgiven. God declares you forever holy now in His judgment. You are an heir to eternal life.

God has not promised you your best life here and now. If anything, He has promised that our here-and-now will be filled with upheavals, trials, and troubles of every sort (Acts 14:22; Matthew 6:34b). It’s why tomorrow’s Introit, like a lighthouse, points the way for you by pointing to Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for you. Many Christians may even be singing, “When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. On Christ, the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand” (“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” LSB 575, st.2).     

Or, perhaps many will be singing, “Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies. Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me” (“Abide With Me” LSB 878, st.6).

Either way, by Jesus’ presence for you on the Cross, and by His presence for you today with the promise of His Cross in His water, in His Word, and at His Supper, God remains constant and steadfast in His goodness and mercy toward you, as well as His forgiveness and love. For what He has promised with the Cross, He will never take back.

You may think, with all the upheavals all around you today like that stormy sea, nothing is solid, least of all the ground under your feet. But you’d be wrong. Today is just not that powerful. Nor is any upheaval or trial. God will not let that happen. Truth be told, Jesus be told, nothing is more powerful than the promise God has made with you on the Cross. It’s a promise that still hushes the waves and calms the storm. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

 Why should cross and trial grieve me? Christ is near With His cheer; Never will He leave me. Who can rob me of the heaven That God’s Son For me won When His life was given? (“Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me” LSB 756, st.1)

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

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch

Pastor-psychiatrist duo Rev. A. Trevor Sutton and Dr. Brian Smith have teamed up to help you evaluate your technology use through a Christian perspective. Learn how to form healthy, faithful technology habits with Jesus at the center. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.