Reflections: Tuesday of the Fifth Week After Pentecost

June 25, 2024

Today’s Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 31:10-31; John 21:1-25

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities… (2 Corinthians 6:3-4)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The day of salvation is not far off, but now St. Paul tells us. Paul, as a servant of God, has told the Corinthians before that he is all things to all people for the sake of the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:22-23) This not only applies to Paul but to all Christians. 

Now, Paul is not giving a license to sin, to be lazy, or to be slothful. What he is saying is that in whatever situation God has placed you in life and whoever God has placed in front of you, you are to love and serve them as we have been loved by God through His Son Jesus.

This is not on you. God will put people and these works at the proper time, and we pray that we would be faithful witnesses of the Gospel and love our neighbors. In all afflictions, hardships, and calamities that come our way, we may commend ourselves to God and endure these things to the end of our lives. 

The Corinthians were a stubborn people, and our world is not so different. The Gospel is offensive to those who do not believe it. However, we do not shout at the world or run from its sinfulness and stubbornness. We also don’t seek out trouble for ourselves, either. Rather, we live out our lives according to the roles God has given us. As students or workers. As parents or children. As husband and wife. We love one another and bear one another’s burdens. We protect those who cannot protect themselves. Because, just as Paul says, the Christian is free to do these things. “Through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as imposters, and yet are true;” (v. 8)

Thanks be to God that He has delivered us from bondage to sin and united us to His Son and His life-giving resurrection, given not to serve the passions of our flesh but free to love one another and widen our hearts for the sake of the Gospel.

The sanctified life is the life of one justified before God in Christ Jesus. The daily life before your neighbor will follow. Remember your Baptism. The Holy Spirit is active and at work to keep you in the one true faith and move you where God desires you to be for your neighbor. This is the cruciform life of the Christian. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to your God to order and provide; In ev’ry change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. (LSB 752:1)

– Vicar Justin Chester, Vicar at Shepherd of the City, Fort Wayne, IN

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

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