It is with gladness that we confess that our worship service is permeated with God’s Word. It is filled with it; and this isn’t by accident. Rather, our services are filled with the Word because it is through it that our merciful God, the God of Hope, grants us perseverance and comfort.
We live now in the time of the figurative beast, where the devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking to devour the elect of God, His Church. Yet, there remains the time to come where the Son of Man will receive the eternal kingdom from His Father, to which we are joined by faith.
By faith in Jesus, we worship God in spirit and truth. To this we have been called by God; though, as we’ll see, we often prefer to worship golden calves. Thankfully, the Lord continues to relent from judgement and has mercy on us for the sake of Christ.
Today we ask of the Lord that, as He called and strengthened St. Luke for the one purpose of spreading His Gospel, so also would He grant that we be faithful and constant witnesses to the world, proclaiming that His kingdom is near in Christ.
The First Commandment teaches us to expect and know these things come from God. Therefore, being freed from all worry about where our provision will come from, we can joyfully care for others.
Through our Baptism, by the Word of God, we have received the Holy Spirit who created faith in us. By this faith, we receive the fruit of Christ’s humiliation for us – the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. The same Holy Spirit now leads us, in turn, to count others more highly than ourselves.
The same Lord who creates life is able, also, to bring life back from the grave. The Lord heard the prayer of Elijah and restored life to that young man. Today we confess that, though the rope of our lives will also end in death, yet through Christ we will be led out of the grave to eternal life.
Jesus’ Words are the truth and by them the Holy Spirit works faith in those who hear. Faith is what receives the forgiveness of sins. Bearing this in mind, we confess from the Old Testament reading that since the Lord has saved us from sin through His Word, we teach it to our children so that they may be saved, too.
In just a little while, Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field and the field into a forest. That is to say, in just a little while the Lord will put an end to the present order of things even as He is already making all things new in Christ.
Both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. Yet, only one was accepted by God – the sacrifice that was offered in faith and thanksgiving to God.