Reflections: Saturday of the Sixth Week After Pentecost

July 6, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Introit for Pentecost 7 – Psalm 132:13-16; antiphon: Psalm 34:8

Daily Lectionary: Joshua 24:1-31; Judges 1:1-36; Acts 13:1-12

For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. (Psalm 132:13-15) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Scriptures talk about several times where the people of God built a place for God to live with His people. In Isaiah, we read, “Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?” (Isaiah 66:1, NKJV). Although God doesn’t live in houses built by humans (Acts 7:48), He comes to live among His people.

God dwelt with His people in the Old Testament in many and various places. In the New Testament, we hear how the Holy of Holies has become flesh for us. The Holy Gospel tells us: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NKJV).

Today, we don’t have the Old Testament temple or even Jesus in the flesh living among us, but this doesn’t mean He is not present. This Sunday’s Introit teaches that God promises to live with His people even today. That’s why we go to church; that’s where God dwells among us. 

At the church I serve, we have a quote from Genesis right outside of the entrance to the nave and sanctuary. The quote is from Genesis 28:17, which says, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” When you enter into the Divine Service at your church, you are entering into that place where heaven meets earth. By His Word, He is present at the altar, font, and pulpit as He speaks to you His forgiveness, washes you of your sins, and feeds you His wonderful provision of His Body and Blood. 

Angels and archangels and the whole company of heaven are with you as you gather around the feast of the Lamb in His kingdom that Has no end. Just as the Lord chose Zion for His dwelling place, your church is the resting place of the Almighty present before you to bless and keep you all the days of your life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Blessed Savior, Jesus Christ, You have given Yourself to us in this holy Sacrament. Keep us in Your faith and favor that we may live in You even as You live in us. May Your body and blood preserve us in the true faith to life everlasting. Hear us for the same of Your name. Amen. (Thanksgiving after receiving the Sacrament, LSB 308)

-Rev. Kent Schaaf is pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock, AR.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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