Reflections: Saturday of the Week of Transfiguration

February 25, 2023


Today’s Reading: Introit for Lent 1, Ps. 91:9-13; antiphon: Ps. 91:15-16

Daily Lectionary: Job 20:1-23, 29, John 8:21-38


You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. (Ps. 91:13)


In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If I were to ask you to list five words that come to mind when you hear “Lent,” I doubt that ‘victory’ would be one of them. Usually we look forward to the victory of the resurrection, and sing, “This is the feast of victory for our God!” Yet, even without the alleluias, this psalm tells us that the resurrection isn’t the only place we have victory. There is victory even in the middle of bearing the cross.


It doesn’t look or feel like victory! It seems like the devil wins so often when he keeps unbelievers in blindness and steals away our weaker brothers. It doesn’t look like victory when we’re told we have to “celebrate” people’s carnal lusts or we’ll be canceled. It doesn’t feel like victory when we struggle against persistent weakness in our flesh, giving into temptation yet again.


Yet, we do have victory over sin, over death, and over the devil, because God has won it. We aren’t going to see it in this evil world or in the sinful human heart. Remember Jesus tomorrow in the Gospel, who calmly rebukes each accusation and temptation of the devil with His Word. His Word is what we cling to when we bear that enmity from the ancient serpent, who is the devil. In His good timing, God will show His victory to be true. Unbelievers will be turned to fervent faith. The world and its desires will pass away. As you abide in His Word and prayer, you will grow in holy living. Finally your fallen flesh will return to the dust, but you will have eternal rest and resurrection.


God gives His Word to strengthen us in this victory. James encourages, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8) John brings us back to our baptismal identity saying, “Everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)


It’s not foolish optimism to say we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. And with such faith, we cling to the rich promises at the end of Psalm 91: “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

   Lord, be our light when worldly darkness veils us; Lord, be our shield when earthly armor fails us;

   And in the day when hell itself assails us,  Grant us Your peace, Lord. (LSB 659:3)

-Pastor Michael A. Miller is Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Lebanon, OR.,

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.