Daily Lectionary: Exodus 16:13-35; Hebrews 10:19-39
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the third setting of the Divine Service, during Confession and Absolution we say, “Let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins. . . ” (LSB, p.184). How does one draw near to God? Is this something that we can choose to do? Is it something that we have the ability to decide on? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding “NO!” We cannot decide to draw near to God, we do not have a choice in the matter, and because of our sin we don’t even want to draw near to God.
So how can we fulfill what the author of the Hebrews tells us to do? Jesus must first draw us to Himself. He has done just that through His glorious death and resurrection, won for you that first Holy Week. He poured out this Gift to you freely in your Baptism. In Holy Baptism your sins are drowned and you are resurrected in the newness of Jesus’ life. The writer to the Hebrews says, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh. . . ” (Hebrews 10:19-20).
In Holy Baptism you have the confidence and assurance that your confession of sins is heard by almighty God. In Holy Baptism you are given the confidence that your Old Adam has been drowned and that you have been resurrected to new life in Christ. In Holy Baptism you can be assured that you have been drawn near to Christ and forgiven of all your sins and cleansed to walk in the newness of eternal life. We confess our sins and we know that our Father in heaven has forgiven us of all our sins on account of Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Merciful Father, through Holy Baptism You called us to be Your own possession. Grant that our lives may evidence the working of Your Holy Spirit in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, according to the image of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen. (Prayer for Life as a Baptized Child of God)
-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Little Rock, AR.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.