Today’s Reading: Genesis 28:10-17
Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 27:1-26; Matthew 17:14-27
Gen. 28:12. And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jacob goes camping. Finds a nice spot. Lays his head on a rock and looks up at the stars. It sounds kind of nice. Peaceful. Put it on Instagram. It’s the chunk of our lives we want others to see. Never mind the rest. Jacob is “camping” because he stole from his brother out of his own father’s hand and his brother is literally trying to kill him. His father’s heart is broken. His mother put him up to it. Dad’s health is failing, so when Jacob left, stealing the blessing, he isn’t sure he’ll ever see him in this world again. But that picture of him laying there looking up at the stars looks good.
Millions of people do the same thing. We hide the ugly. If we’re so afraid of each other knowing, do you really want a God who looks down on you and sees it all? How is that comforting? I’m not sure I want to be fully known. But it feels like heaven is a long way from here, and God, I need some help.
So God won’t just look down on us from heaven. He doesn’t even just drop a ladder down for us to climb out of the pit we dug for ourselves in our sin. He becomes the ladder. Heaven is not so far away. Jesus doesn’t just connect heaven and earth. He’s the location of heaven. Heaven is wherever Jesus is. And Jesus descends to this world for you. To pull you out of the pit and take your place. To die for sinners and grant you His life. You are forgiven. All your sins are bled for. All the things you hide. God doesn’t just see. He saves. Church isn’t a place to pretend things are fine. It’s a place to take your sins because God will meet you there to forgive them all.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen
In a wat’ry grave are buried All our sins that Jesus carried; Christ, the Ark of Life, has ferried Us across death’s raging flood. (Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying, LSB 597:2)
-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.
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.