Reflections: Thursday of the Third Week of Advent

Daily Lectionary:Isaiah 32:1-20; Revelation 4:1-11

At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (Revelation 4:2)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Can you imagine seeing what John saw?  In a divine vision John is brought into the holy throne room of God. The throne in the center is where Jesus sits. He has ascended from His work on earth. He is exalted. His humiliating work of the Cross, His death and the grave are done. He has honored His Father’s promise to send us hope. He has crushed Satan’s head and completed His divine work (Genesis 3:15). He is completely and totally alive and victorious. 

We are redeemed, forgiven, and justified by His blood as a total and complete sacrifice for ALL sin, for your sin. The angels shout, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” just like in the vision Isaiah saw (Isaiah 6:3). The glory!  The majesty! It is almost too much for words to describe! 

John was taken into this heavenly throne room to give absolute hope that God will triumph over sin, death, and the devil. There is hope and it is for you.   

What John saw can seem like a distant dream for us. We are here in the world that is fiercely divided. A difference of opinion divides you and your BFF. The culture pushes against everything you hear in church. If you disagree with your teachers or professors or are bold enough to say, “That is not true,” you become a target. Fear not, dear saint. There is hope! Real, physical hope, for you, here on earth!

When you gather for the Divine Service, our victorious Lord brings hope to you. You hear the result of His Calvary victory for you when your pastor pronounces the forgiveness of all your sins. You are fully free and forgiven. You hear God’s Word preached to you, and it points you to the Cross where Jesus beat every enemy, for you!  We sing what John heard the angels sing when we sing the Sanctus: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of power and might.” When the pastor lifts the Body and Blood of Jesus up, in, with, and under the bread and wine, and says, “The peace of the Lord be with you always,” we have hope!  Jesus is lifted up from death’s dominion. Jesus is lifted up into heaven and is sitting on His throne waiting to return. And then, hope comes to you. Take and eat; this is the Body of Christ. Take and drink; this is the Blood of Christ for you, for your forgiveness, for eternal and everlasting hope! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see, Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee, Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity. (“Holy, Holy, Holy” LSB 507, st.4)

Rev. Randy Sturzenbecher is pastor of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, Black Hawk, SD. He is also the vice president of Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch