Reflections: Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

May 11, 2024 

Today’s Reading: Psalm 27:1a, 4-5, 10, 14; antiphon: Psalm 27:7

Daily Lectionary: Numbers 13:1-3, 17-33; Luke 18:1-17

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Christianity is a waiting game. Much as you might want immediate results, the Psalmist teaches you that you have to wait. When affliction hits you, when there’s suffering among your friends or family, when blessings are coming but they’re not here yet, you’d love for God to step in immediately. But most of the time, God does not deliver His blessings, relief, or healing according to your preferred time schedule.

So you have to wait for the Lord. You have to bear the affliction. You have to endure powerlessness. You can only anticipate the good that’s coming sometimes. That’s hard. Not only is that hard, that also can be faith destroying. Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew 13 teaches that some receive the Word with joy for a time, only to fall away from it in times of persecution or suffering. Our sinful nature does not like to wait. Perhaps that’s a good reason why God teaches us that we must sometimes.

When God acts, He acts always at the right time. Whenever He withholds blessings, it is so your heart might learn to rely on His Word and promises. Suffering teaches reliance on God’s Word for those who are willing to learn that lesson. Whenever God turns His face away in anger, it is so you might offer prayers to God and remind Him of His Word and promises that He has bound Himself to. When God allows suffering, it is so your heart learns that this world is not your friend but a valley of sorrows. But He also promises grace and every blessing to all who trust in His Word and conform their lives to living according to His Commandments.

Therefore, Christianity is a waiting game of epic proportions. But as you wait for the Lord to show His mercy, you can be strong. Your heart can take courage. You can be bold. For God has not cast off His people forever. His anger may last a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime. In Jesus, God has acted for your eternal good and blessing. In Jesus’ death, God was reconciling the world to Himself. By Jesus’ death, the Christians’ heart finds all strength and courage. He suffers for your sins so you do not fall under God’s eternal anger. Jesus is forsaken by God so that you would never be. Nothing makes a heart so courageous and strong as hearing the Gospel, that Jesus died and rose for you and your sins are forgiven. He also died in the fullness of time. God always acts at the right time. And that’s good enough for faith. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Lord, grant that our hearts do not lose courage as we wait for Your mercy, but instead find strength in Your Word and promises given in Jesus. Amen.

– Pastor. Robert Mayes is the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE.

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

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