Today’s Reading: John 16:23-33
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Many will say that life changed in March 2020 and has not returned to normal. Instead, we are learning what the “new normal” is, whatever that means. But life changed long before 2020. Life changed in the Garden of Eden, and it didn’t change for the better.
It didn’t take long for God’s creation to go from perfect to not perfect. There was no in-between with regard to creation’s state of being. It wasn’t not-quite-perfect; it wasn’t mostly perfect; it wasn’t anything having to do with perfect, because perfect was left in the rearview mirror. In other words, there was no chance of getting perfection back. In its place, we were left with the complete opposite of perfection: sin.
Sin was not meant to be part of God’s creation. However, because man chose to listen to the serpent rather than God, sin became intertwined with creation to the point that there would be no way to separate the two. Because of sin, we are left with all sorts of things that God did not desire for us. Sin leads to tribulation, and in this world, there will be no shortage of it. Jesus tells the disciples as much. Sin leads us away from God, eternally separating us from God. Without God, there can be nothing but tribulation. All would seem lost: “seem” being the key word.
We have something or rather, someone, working in our favor: Jesus. He has conquered sin, and with it, He has conquered tribulation. Whatever was done by the Fall into sin was undone by Jesus’ death upon the Cross. We hear in our communion liturgy, “. . . through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who on this day overcame death and the grave and by His glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life. . . “
For the Christian, the joys of Easter cannot be confined to a single day, or even to a single single season of the Church year. Instead, every day is a little Easter, a day of rejoicing in Christ’s victory over sin and death, once and for all. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raised from the death of sin by Your life-giving Spirit; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter)
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.