Reflections: Wednesday of the First Week after the Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Table of Duties: To Wives

Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 33:1-20; Romans 3:1-18

“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’  Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:10-11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord hates sin.  Scripture is clear about this.  The Lord judges sin, and the unrepentant, unbelieving souls are judged too.  But the Lord isn’t like a schoolyard bully, sneaking around waiting to beat up sinners with judgment.  He Himself warns sinners to watch out, to turn, to repent.  Sometimes, when people are warned about a terrible thing that might happen, they get hopeless.  If you’ve heard about that algebra test, you might just think, “Well, what’s the point of studying, since I can study for days and I’ll still fail?”  That’s what the people that Ezekiel was prophesying to said.  “How can we live?”  The Lord spoke through Ezekiel to call them to repentance.  God wanted them to leave behind their wicked ways and live.  

1 Peter 3:1-6 speaks in a similar way.  Go check it out, then come back.  Peter writes to wives that even if they are married to a nonbeliever, they prophesied in their actions to the truth of God’s mercy.  Peter writes to women who were married and then became Christians.  They weren’t to divorce their husbands, but to continue being married to them, submitting to them in love even though the men weren’t Christians.  These faithful wives, adorned with a gentle and quiet spirit, might win their husbands to the Christian faith.  But these words apply to you if you’re not married, and even if you’re not a woman.  The quiet and gentle spirit of faith testifies as a watchman, giving the hope of Jesus Christ to believers and unbelievers alike.

You are full of hope because Jesus Christ has died and risen for you.  He submitted in quietness and gentleness to death so that you won’t die.  Because He lives, you also will live.  He has won you to faith in Him.  You are part of the Church, the bride of Christ.  There is no hopelessness for you.  The Lord has turned you from the wickedness of unbelief so that you have everlasting life with Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Come, join in Cana’s feast,  Where Christ is honored guest. He welcomes all who come to taste,
The wine His hands have blessed. (Lutheran Service Book 408, stanza 1)

-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.