Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 4:8-22, 32-37; Ephesians 5:15-33
When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. Then he got up again and walked once back and forth in the house, and went up and stretched himself upon him. The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. (2 Kings 4:32-35)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God sent Elisha to raise the child from death. Raised from the dead, this child was a sign of God’s abundant life-giving grace. But what about our death? Where’s God’s grace for us? When Jesus Himself rose from the dead that same life-giving gift was declared to be for all of us: one death for everybody in the whole world.
Our death is the only thing the world can’t take away from us. The people, places, memories, and possessions in which our hearts find their rest can be removed. But when our hearts rest in God’s promise that works even into our death, we can’t lose. The amazing graciousness of God that we will never lack is the one thing no one will ever want to beg, borrow, or steal from us and the one thing any of us will ever need. It’s our death.
By Jesus’ death in our name, and by our watery death in His Name, we have overcome the world. In God’s baptismal promise all of us who are dead in sin can rest, not in our heart’s desires that fade, wither, and wear out over time, but in the grace of God that works entirely by raising the dead. No uncertainties. No anxiety. Just God’s abundant, unbreakable promise that, “We were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (Romans 6:3-5). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Death you cannot end my gladness; I am baptized into Christ! When I die, I leave all sadness To inherit paradise! Though I lie in dust and ashes Faith’s assurance brightly flashes: Baptism has the strength divine To make life immortal mine. (God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It, LSB 594:4)