Today’s Reading: Colossians 1:9-14
Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 7:1-29; Matthew 23:1-12

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If someone’s stuck in a ditch in a snowstorm, AAA comes with a tow truck. If someone’s injured on a crab fishing boat in the Bering Sea, the Coast Guard sends a chopper. If someone’s drowning at the city swimming pool, the lifeguard dives in to save him. At some point in life, we all need to be delivered, rescued, saved.

This is especially true when it comes to our life before God. Scripture teaches us that apart from God we’re lost in darkness, rebellious against God, dead in trespasses, and children of wrath who deserve only judgment. Think of it this way: If you’re drowning in the middle of the ocean, you don’t need a swim coach to say, “Just swim harder!” No. You need the big orange Coast Guard helicopter to save you.

Jesus provides and accomplishes the deliverance, rescue, and saving we need. This is why Paul calls Jesus the Beloved Son. For in Him we have deliverance, redemption, and the forgiveness of sins. In Him you are beloved. In Him you are delivered, redeemed, saved. Your transfer paperwork is in, signed and sealed in Christ’s blood.

Like Noah, we’ve been saved from judgment by being brought through the waters of Holy Baptism and placed safely in the Ark of Christ’s Body, the Church. Like Peter, we’ve been yanked out of the abyss and saved from drowning by Jesus, who entered the darkness of the grave and came out alive for you. Like Paul we cry out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” And for you, Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz

In a wat’ry grave are buried All our sins which Jesus carried; Christ, the Ark of Life, has ferried us across death’s raging flood. (Water, Blood, and Spirit Crying, LSB 597:2)

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