Wednesday, July 29, 2020

July 29 – Wednesday prior to Pentecost 9 – Proper 13

Romans 9:1-5 - It would be easy to think, “I’ll go to hell…so you can go to heaven!” But it isn’t that simple. You cannot enter heaven on another person’s merits. You can’t avoid condemnation. By allowing someone else to take your place. For it is Christ alone who became your substitute.

Hence the question. “Did the Father also die for you?” He did not. The Father is God only as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed His blood for me. [2] 

The Lord demands perfection and rightness. He has said, ‘You shall be holy as I the Lord am holy.” (Leviticus 20:26) To keep us from being separated Christ entered time and space.

He was abandoned by God and by men for your salvation. As Isaiah predicted, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment, he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7-9)

The Church is literally a hospital and a hospice for sinners if we are going to speak of salvation in medical terms. Here the means of grace, the Word and the Sacraments, “the medicine of immortality"[3] is dispensed, as the Great Physician prescribes them. Christ is your Divine Healer.

Man is sick and dying with sin and the grace-filled Word and Sacraments give him life and healing. Sure, there are those who seem to think the Church is nothing but a sort of "museum of the saved" or the "collection of the already sanctified brethren" as the unwashed dare not enter.

But you’ll never find a “No Vacancy” sign outside the church door.  May the Lord give us a passion for those who are missing. There is still room - in the Father’s house.

Almighty God, You invite us to trust in You for our salvation. Deal with us not in the severity of Your judgment but by the greatness of Your mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.[4]

[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
[2]  Christian Questions with Their Answers, Luther’s Small Catechism © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[3] St. Ignatius of Antioch
[4] Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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