Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 5:6-11
Daily Lectionary: Joshua 23:1-16; Acts 12:1-25
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1 Peter 5:8b-9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is no promise of a life without suffering, especially for the Christian. We think that there should be. We logically conclude that if we could just figure out the right steps to walk and the correct words to say, then we could find our way onto the simple and easy path to the Promised Land.
But that just isn’t the case. First, it’s because we are sinners. Yes, we have been redeemed by Christ and are a new creation in Him, and yet the Old Adam still hangs on and must be continuously drowned in the baptismal waters that make us righteous. And second, the Lord actually promises persecution for the Christian. Just as your sinful flesh hates the things of Jesus, the things of the Church, the things of the forgiveness of sins and life and salvation, so, too, does the world. And the demons will drive all evil to come upon you like a lion hunting down his prey.
I know that sounds daunting. I know being a Christian in an increasingly secular world is difficult. I know that sometimes it’s just easier to hide your Bible at the bottom of your locker and change out your crucifix necklace for a simple silver chain. But know that you are not alone. Not only is your Lord and Savior with you in His Word, strengthening you each Sunday with His Sacraments, but there are millions of brothers and sisters all over the world experiencing the same exact things that you are.
Cast all of these anxieties at the feet of your heavenly Father. Goodness, when it gets too much to handle, shake a fist or two at Him as well, but then stand in faith in the midst of things that seem too outside of you to control, because they are. Know that the Lord who has redeemed you through His precious blood is also the Lord who has promised to never forsake you, and will grant you all you need to be sustained until the day in which He comes again to take you home with Him forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Christ Jesus is my splendor, My sun, my light, alone; Were He not my defender Before God’s judgment throne, I never should find favor And mercy in His sight, But be destroyed forever As darkness by the light. (“If God Himself Be for Me” LSB 724, st.3)
-Rev. Eli Lietzau is pastor of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheat Ridge, CO.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.