Reflections: Thursday of the Week of Transfiguration

February 23, 2023


Today’s Reading: Joel 2:12-19

Daily Lectionary: Job 18:1-21, John 7:32-53


Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? (Joel 2:14)


In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When do you go to the doctor? Of course, it’s when you’re sick. Nobody in their right mind goes through the trouble of scheduling an appointment, answering a bunch of diagnostic questions, and maybe even ordering labs just for the fun of it. You want to feel better.


It’s similar to confession and absolution. In today’s reading, the Lord calls His people to return to Him. Returning is not pleasant, especially because it brings up all the ways that we have been distant from him. Confessing our sins is painful.

The rite of Individual Confession guides us through it: “I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most. My Lord’s name I have not honored as I should; my worship and prayers have faltered. I have not let His love have its way with me, and so my love for others has failed. There are those whom I have heart, and those whom I have failed to help. My thoughts and desires have been soiled with sin.” (LSB 292)


But we don’t just go to confession to feel bad about ourselves. We’re not about self-flagellation and perpetual frustration at our failure to act better. The purpose of confession is the holy Absolution: “In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”


“Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?” (v. 13, 14) The blessing of having peace with God is what our penitent hearts look forward to. And here is the picture of how the Lord makes that peace even more tangible! His Body and His Blood (grain and wine) are given to us after confession to strengthen and preserve us.


Sin is ugly. But God would not have that sickness crush us. He lifts the burden and places it on His Son. The crucifix is ugly because of your sin and that of the whole world. Once sin is on the cross of Jesus, however, it has been removed from you and it becomes beautiful. Your sins are forgiven. Take eat; take drink. This is the very Body and Blood of Christ given and shed for you. Go in peace. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.


Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

-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.