Reflections: Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: Galatians 4:21-31

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 43:1-28; Mark 12:13-27


The Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:26)


In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Church father Cyprian once wrote that, “No one can have God as his Father, who does not have the Church as his mother.” St. Augustine and Martin Luther would later quote these famous words as well. Cyprian wasn’t saying anything new, though. He was quoting Paul here in Galatians. 

The Jerusalem above, the Mother of us all, is free (Galatians 4:26). How is the Church our Mother? Think about all the ways a mother cares for her child. Even before a child is born, he is cared for in her womb and, Lord willing, brought safely through childbirth. So, too, in the Church we are born from above by water, Word and the Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism. God works faith in our hearts by His Word just as He creates life in the womb. 

Our earthly mothers then go on to feed us, care for us, love and nurture us. So, too, in the Church, God our Father provides the daily bread of His Holy Word, Holy Absolution, Holy Baptism, and Holy Communion. In His Gifts of Word and Sacrament in the Church God feeds us, cares for us, loves us, and nurtures us. 

As we grow older, our earthly mothers and fathers discipline us, teach us many things needful for our life, and most of all, lead us in the ways and words of our heavenly Father. The same thing happens in the Church, the new Jerusalem. The free gifts of life and salvation are given to us. We are children of the promise, just as Isaac was. And yes, at times we are disciplined. And at other times we are instructed in many things from the Scriptures, as in confirmation or Bible class. 

In these ways, our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit, leads us in His ways and words throughout our life. And in this holy Christian Church you are freely forgiven, and live to freely love one another as Christ first loved us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.


Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you turned us from the old life of sin: Grant that we, being reborn to new life in him, may live in righteousness and holiness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.