Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 4:21-40; Matthew 8:1-17
Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? (Deuteronomy 4:33)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the Christian Church, as the Bible explains, the prophecy is fulfilled. The Lord’s people see and hear His Word. This goes to the root of the Holy Spirit’s work, making the blind to see and the deaf to hear God’s Word to all generations. First God’s Word of Law exposes our false gods, then the Good News of Jesus Christ FOR YOU reintroduces us to our Lord. This is how we receive the power of the Gospel that works in us. God gives us open ears to fear, love and trust Him alone to be our God.
For this specific purpose, God sends a preacher. A preacher announces words, and the words are finally two: “You are dead by God’s judgment,” and, “Arise on account of Christ’s forgiveness.” The Church receives these gifts of the Holy Spirit by faith. She has been given something to hope in that can never wither and die on the vine. She is given the free gifts of Christ, in Word and Sacrament, the forgiveness of all sins for Christ’s sake through them, even raising the dead by them.
He opens our ears to hear His words: You are baptized. You are free to confess and be absolved of all your sins in My Name. You are given and receive the Lord’s Supper. You read Scripture and hear it preached. You pray by the way of thankful response with certainty that I hear you, for I am your heavenly Father.
His Word fills our ears and abides in our hearts. More than that, His Spirit works in us to express our deepest need and thanks. He turns us away from sin, death, and the devil toward righteousness and toward Jesus Christ in whom the Church has received the forgiveness of all sins, whom we worship in the Spirit and truth, One God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to all generations, forever and ever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
All who confess Christ’s holy name, Give God the praise and glory. Let all who know His pow’r proclaim Aloud the wondrous story. Cast ev’ry idol from its throne, For God is God and He alone: To God all praise and glory! (Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good, LSB 819:5)