Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November 4, 2020 – Wednesday prior to Pentecost 23 - Proper 27

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 –Paul uses “sleep” to describe the dead in Christ. They are asleep in Jesus. “Sleep” is a comforting concept of the Christian dead. When we sleep, we are at rest. Our labors are over and we rest at peace. When we sleep, we are not dead but alive. We shall awaken out of sleep. We fall asleep on earth to awaken in heaven for a fuller, better life with Christ. [1]

We grieve over the loss of loved ones, but not as those who have no hope of heaven. In Paul’s day, people were grieving because they were worried lest the departed miss out on the return of Christ. They wanted the dead to share in His victory, to see the destruction of Satanic powers, and to rejoice in the spectacular glory of Christ. For Christians, the end time will be a glorious time and we want our loved ones to share it.

When Christ returns at the end of time, the living and the dead in Christ will be together. When Christ leaves heaven for earth, He will bring with Him those who died in faith. There is going to be one great, colossal reunion of heaven and earth! Since this is the case according to Paul, we know where our departed loved ones are now. They are with Christ in heaven. To be with Christ is to have life, love, joy, and peace. What more could we want for ourselves or our dearest?

For blessing on the Word – Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.[2]

[1] The Ten Virgins copyright ©  Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[2] Collect for blessing on the Word, Lutheran Service Book © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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