Reflections: Tuesday of the Second Week after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 39:1-10, 17-29; Romans 7:21-8:17

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. During His earthly ministry, Jesus called disciples including Simon and Andrew.  John tells us how Jesus called himself and his brother James from fishing with their Father to follow Jesus.  Matthew tells us how Jesus called him from his tax booth to follow Jesus.  But the calling of those disciples is not an exception.  Paul writes to the Christians in Corinth that God called even them into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  The call to follow Jesus isn’t something that was reserved for special Christians or Christians a long time ago.  In Luther’s Small Catechism about the Third Article of the Creed, we confess, “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.”  Notice that we confess the Holy Spirit has called me.  This isn’t a call to someone else or people who are disconnected from you.  No, this is personal!

The call to follow Jesus is personal.  The water of Baptism and the word of God for you in your Baptism is personal.  The certain words of the Absolution declaring your forgiveness are personal.  The body and blood of Jesus given and shed for you are personal.  These aren’t given only for the salvation of the world, but for the salvation of you, a sinner in need of God’s grace.  The devil, the world, and your sinful flesh all try to convince you that you are alone and isolated.  “See,” they tell you, “you’re like a lost lamb that nobody cares about.  No one else is like you, and nobody understands the problems you have.”  That is what the voices of temptation say.  But Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit, shout in response, “That’s not true!”  Your God has taken on flesh for you.  The Holy Spirit has called you.  You are not alone.  Jesus has promised to be with you always, even to the very end of the age.  (Matthew 28:20)  In all things, you are not alone.  

You are not lacking in any gift.  The Lord Jesus Christ will sustain you to the day of His return.  (1 Corinthians 1:7-8)  These are personal promises for forgiven sinners that Jesus dearly loves.  You aren’t missing anything because you have the grace of Jesus, and that grace will last forever.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen

Let us also live with Jesus. He has risen from the dead,  That to life we may awaken.  Jesus, You are now our head.  We are Your own living members;  Where You live, there we shall be

In Your presence constantly,  Living there with You forever. Jesus, let me faithful be, Life eternal grant to me. (Lutheran Service Book 685, stanza 4)

-Pastor Peter W. Ill is Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, Illinois.

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.