Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 20:1-18; Matthew 24:29-51

But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.(Jeremiah 20:11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jeremiah is often called the weeping prophet. He saw how corrupt and wicked Israel, God’s chosen people, had become. He witnessed persecution for speaking the Lord’s Word to Israel. He foretold Israel’s coming judgment, defeat, and exile at the hands of the Babylonians.

Nevertheless, the Lord was with Jeremiah. Through Jeremiah the Lord promised that Israel would return from exile. The Lord would make a new covenant with His people Israel, and with all nations. The Lord would defeat their greatest enemies. Not the Babylonians, or later the Assyrians, but the ruler of this world, the powers of darkness, and the army our sinful flesh.

What Jeremiah did not expect, what no one could expect, was exactly how God would accomplish this mission. God entered this fallen world behind enemy lines. God made His beachhead in the womb of the Virgin Mary. In Bethlehem the rightful King of the world was born. Jesus stepped forth onto battlefield earth like no other warrior before Him, and no warrior after Him. God in human flesh. A dread warrior wrapped in humility and our humanity. A soldier swaddled in clothes and lying in a manger. A king who rides a donkey into Jerusalem. A fighter who lays down His arms on the cross, lets sin and death overwhelm Him, and battles to the death to win the victory for you.

The Lord is with you, as a dread warrior, just as He was for Jeremiah and Israel. He gives you the sword of His Word and truth. He shields you by water and the Word in Baptism. And He feeds and strengthens you for life in the breach with His own life-giving, death-conquering, battle-won Body and Blood. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz

With might of ours can naught be done, Soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the Valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is. Of Sabaoth Lord, and there’s none other God; He holds the field victorious. (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, LSB 656:2)

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