Reflections: Tuesday of the Fourth Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Romans 12:14-21

Daily Lectionary: Judges 7:1-23; Galatians 1:1-24

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul writes to the church in Rome and to us about how we are to act and live in the midst of trials. As believers in Christ, the Church will always face hardship and persecution. Just as the world hated Jesus, the world will also hate all of us who follow Him. Because of this reality, we must prepare ourselves for what will come upon us so that we are able to give a faithful witness to the hope that is in us. 

The problem is that our sinful flesh does not want to live at peace. When we are mistreated and when evil is done to us, we want to get even. By nature we strike out against and impose our own vengeance upon those who have wronged us. Getting even feels good, and the sense of accomplishment that we get when we put someone in their place often leads us to do it again. However, this is sinful. It is not the example that Jesus has given to us, and as we have just read, it is not how the people of God are called to live. So by faith we must repent of our sins. We must confess to the Lord that we have failed to live in peace and that we have often repaid evil with evil. We must confess that we have failed to let the light of Christ shine forth through us.

Jesus came to earth to forgive all who have done evil. His death on the Cross and the shedding of His blood brought forth our forgiveness. When Jesus received evil at the hands of all sinners, He overcame it by good. He is the perfect example for us who have been called by faith. This is how we are to live. When we are mistreated and when evil is done to us, we are to overcome it with good. With the help of God, we discipline our flesh and pray for those who have done harm to us. We pray for God to grant them the peace He has given to us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, we ask that You would grant us Your peace so that we might live at peace with those who have done wrong to us. Help us be shining lights of the love of Christ so that the hearts of our enemies might be turned to You. Grant all this we pray for the sake of Jesus. Amen.

-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.