Today’s Reading: Romans 15:4-13
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 24:14-25:12; 1 John 2:15-29
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Apostle Paul wrote 13 letters in the New Testament, directed mainly to churches. One such letter was to the Church at Rome. This church was in a rather unique situation. Rome was a great city of commerce. This brought with it a large amount of foot traffic. While this could be an advantage to the Church, this also proved to be a disadvantage as well, for this brought with it an influx of pagan non-believers.
With this pagan influence, it was very easy for the Romans to forget who they were, blood-bought and redeemed children of God. They needed a gentle reminder of who they were, much like we need the same reminder today. And so Paul reminds them to return to their roots, that is, return to God’s Word and what it means for them. There in God’s Word, they would be reminded of the promise God made to them and what it meant for their daily life, for there they would find their hope.
What was written in former days was God’s promise of salvation, not just for His people in the Old Testament, not just for the Church at Rome, but for all people everywhere. God’s instruction was for them to remain faithful to Him, just as He promised He would remain faithful to them.
Ultimately, what was written in former days was the promise of the Messiah. This is what God intended for His people, then and now. He intended to be with them forever. Due to sin, that was no longer a possibility. That is why He made the promise of a Savior so that the relationship between God and man would be restored to what it should be.
It is through that Word of God, the promise He made so long ago and recorded in Holy Scripture, that we find our hope. Our hope isn’t found in ourselves or in the things of this world but in Jesus. At times, the Romans forgot where their hope was to be found. We too can forget that as well. That is why this season of Advent is so important for us, to help us prepare to receive Jesus as our salvation, for it is in Jesus do we have our hope, both now and forevermore. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and take them to heart that, by the patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Word)
– Pastor Jared Tucher serves the dual-parish of St. John – Farmer’s Retreat in Dillsboro and St. Paul, Cross Plains, Indiana.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
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.