Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Introduction to the Lord’ s Prayer
Daily Lectionary: Judges 13:1-25; Galatians 2:1-21
Our Father who art in heaven. (Small Catechism: Introduction to the Lord’ s Prayer)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Martin Luther writes that God invites us to believe that He is our true Father. Have you ever thought about what this actually means? You are a child of the Almighty. Of all the people on the earth, the Lord chose you. As an enemy of God who was dead in your sins, you have done nothing to earn this right. Instead, this relationship between God and man can only come from above. Our heavenly Father alone is the actor, and we are the receivers.
Think about our life here on earth. You and I do not get to choose our fathers. We do nothing to be conceived in our mothers’ wombs. Instead, God created us, and He alone provides us with parents. Just as we have not chosen our earthly fathers, we don’t choose our heavenly Father. In mercy, God calls us by faith. He makes us His by the Word, a precious gift given by the working of the Holy Spirit.
This faith unites us with Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father. When this happens, we are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), we are united with Jesus, and we receive the forgiveness of all our sins. Purified by the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross, we are now at peace with the Father, and we are viewed as beloved children of God. It is this work of Jesus done on our behalf that enables us to ask our dear heavenly Father with all boldness and confidence for the things that we need in this life.
What a great and precious gift, that is freely given to you by your Savior! No longer do we need to fear the wrath of God or the punishment for our sins. Instead, you and I are part of God’ s chosen family, brothers and sisters of Christ, who have been called by the Holy Word of God. We have a relationship with the Father that allows us to bring to Him all of our concerns, problems, requests, thanks, and praise, knowing that our heavenly Father will hear, listen, and give to us all that we need to support this body and life, not just on earth but also forever in heaven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the great gifts of love and mercy that You give to Your children each and every day. Help us to be ever mindful of the fact that You have chosen us to be Your children, so that we may boldly pray with confidence in the knowledge that You will hear and help us. Amen.
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.