Monday, October 20, 2008

Time in the Word - Reformation

The Lessons for this week fall under the theme of freedom -freedom from sin, knowledge of the truth, the grace of God. The predominant theme is salvation as the sole work of God by grace through faith. In the Gospel, God’s greatest work is Christ whom to know is to be free. In the Old Testament Lesson God comes to offer a new relationship that is personal and internal. Paul, in the Epistle Lesson, gives the famous passage concerning God’s justification of the sinner by faith in Christ. Very definitely there is no suggestion that man has any part in his reconciliation with God. God does it all. In the Hymn of the Day we are assured of God’s victory over Satan, our ancient foe.

Collect for Reformation – Almighty and gracious Lord pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, October 20, 2008 Psalm 34:1-2, 11, 22 - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from Psalm 119:46 “I will speak of Your testimonies before Kings, [O Lord] and shall not be put to shame.”
Tuesday, October 21, 2008Jeremiah 31:31-34 -In our Old Testament lesson God promises a new covenant of forgiveness. Here is a corrective to Ecclesiastes which says there is nothing new. God makes a new covenant. Note that man has nothing to do with it. God has the idea and he proposes the new covenant. This is evidence of God’s grace in giving his people another chance to be his people. What is new about it? It is new in that the covenant will be made with the individual rather than with the nation as a whole. It is new in that each will instinctively know God rather than learning of God through teaching.

God calls himself a husband of his people. It infers a marriage between God and his people. This is the meaning of covenant. It is a personal relationship between God and his people. Like a marriage, they belong to each other and enjoy a oneness in love and loyalty. It is expressed in
God’s words, “I will be their God and they will be my people.” Sin breaks the marriage relationship for sin is disloyalty to God. Thus, it was necessary to have a new covenant.

In the scriptures knowledge is more than cognition, as one would know a fact. To know God is to enter a relationship with him in a covenant. Thus, one cannot be taught to know God. It is an act of commitment and an entering into union with God. Thus, everyone will instinctively know
God and it is not a matter of rote.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008Romans 3:19-28 - In our Epistle lesson for this week Paul explains the central teaching of the Bible that God justifies the sinner by grace through faith. The word Justified is an important word in this pericope. The word is associated with a court. The judge acquits the guilty one. He is exonerated and allowed to go free. It is not that he was innocent, but the judge accounted him as innocent because of the penalty paid by another, Christ. The sinner is not righteous, but he is accounted or considered righteous for Jesus’ sake.

The righteousness of God is not the popular understanding of goodness, perfection, or justice. In the scriptures, righteousness means right-relatedness to God. This understanding of the word gave Luther his liberation and insight into the gospel. It is not a word to fear nor to cringe at the wrath of God. It means God’s goodness is approaching in good will to offer us reconciliation and peace. By grace we experience the righteousness of God by being rightly related to him through faith.

Thursday, October 23, 2008John 8:31-36 In the Gospel for this Sunday we learn that God sent Jesus into the world to set men free from sin. When Pilate asked Jesus what truth was, he gave no answer. In this passage Jesus defines the truth. It is in his word, for he spoke God’s Word. As long as we hold to the word of Jesus, we will be his disciples and will know the truth. It is not a truth of science, politics, nor economics. It is religious truth personified and spoken by Christ. It is the truth of God and life.

The truth of Christ frees. It does not mean necessarily women’s liberation or political independence. These may follow. It is freedom in and of religion. Truth frees us from false religious beliefs, superstitions, and practices. Christ’s truth frees us from the Law. Christ frees us from the bondage of sin by his death on the cross. Out of his spiritual freedom come other freedoms. If we are free before and in God, we will not be content until we are free among men.

Friday, October 24, 2008 Psalm 46: 1-7 - This Psalm is appointed for Reformation Sunday. The key verse is verse 7.

Saturday, October 25, 2008Psalm 46: 8-11 - Our reading is the inspiration for tomorrow’s sermon hymn; “A Mighty Fortress is Our God
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO


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