Reflections: Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Table of Duties, to Wives

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 24:14-25:12; 1 John 2:15-29 

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther continues to list out the duties that those who are in Christ are called by God to do. Under the category of wives, Luther simply points to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians where Paul writes that wives are to submit to their husbands.

When many people hear the word “submit,” they immediately get upset. How dare someone tell a wife that she should yield her power and authority to her husband! However, the Greek word that is translated “submit” means that the wife, through the working of the Holy Spirit, will put herself under obedience to her husband in the same way that she is under obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. For just as Jesus is the Head of the Church, and His Bride put Herself under His leadership, so the wife does for her husband.

Now the idea of placing oneself under the authority of someone else is hard for our sinful flesh. All of us want to be the boss. We want to be god and do what we desire. There are many times in the life of the Christian that we do not want to submit to Jesus and what He has written in His Holy Word. Instead we struggle and fight, trying to find a way to ignore the parts of Scripture we don’t like. However, Scripture cannot be broken, and we all must repent of this sin. We must turn away from our failings and learn to submit ourselves to Christ, the Head, and to ask His forgiveness. Humbling ourselves, we confess our sins, and Christ forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

In order for marriage to work in a God-pleasing manner, the wife is called by God to submit to her husband. In doing so, she is simply doing the task that God has given to her. So also, all Christians are called by God to submit to Christ, to place ourselves under His authority, and to listen to all that He has spoken to us. When we do this, we are living as God has called us to live, and this is good and pleasing to Him.  For as we submit to Christ through faith, we are freely given His grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

 Lord, help us all to submit to the authority that you have placed over us. Forgive us when we fail and continue to guide us into the way of all truth. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.

Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch