Today’s Reflection: Romans 15:4-13
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 29:1-14; Jude 1-25

And may the God of Hope fill you with all grace and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I was nothing but a Gentile sinner. I was outside the faith. God wasn’t for me. I wasn’t just not in His family, or even neutral to Him. I was His enemy. You were, too.

Jesus came. He took on my flesh. He became just like me in every way. He lived my life—perfectly, without sin. He resisted temptation. He became a servant to His people to live and die for the truth confessed in the fathers: God is for Gentiles! God is for sinners. God is for me in Christ. God is for you, too!

He saved me. He rescued me from my sins, from my death, and from the power of the devil, with His holy, precious blood and innocent suffering and death. He died so that I would live. He was buried to sanctify my grave. He rose to give me life and forgiveness. You, too!

He chose me. I couldn’t choose Him. I was dead in my trespasses! He made me alive with Christ. My salvation was a Christmas gift that He gave me. By grace you are saved, too, through faith in Jesus Christ.

In Holy Baptism, He adopted and clothed me with His Son. I died with Him in that font! Just like He rose from the dead, I will rise, too! In His Word, He sustains me. In the preached and proclaimed Absolution of my pastor, He opens heaven for me. With His Body and Blood, He feeds me—even me. You, too.

Now my hope isn’t just that I might be saved or that Jesus might come on the Last Day. No, I must be saved in Christ. My hope is in His coming! When He comes everything that I have struggled to believe, every doubt I have, every sin that tackles me, will fall off me and the reality of what I can only believe by faith will be true to me by sight, too—that I am a child of God. You are, too.

Christ has received me—even me—with all my sins. He has had mercy on me—even me though I don’t deserve it. How could I not gladly and freely receive others? How could I not receive you? How could you not do the same? How could we not welcome one another, forgive one another, have mercy on one another as God in Christ has had mercy, welcomed, forgiven, and had mercy on us.

I wasn’t in the family. Now I’m adopted as a child of God and an heir of His kingdom. I was going to hell. Now, eternal life is mine in Christ. Jesus is my faith. Jesus is my hope. Yours, too. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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