ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS

29 September 2019

 

Daniel 10:10–14; 12:1–3

Revelation 12:7–12

Matthew 18:1–11 or Luke 10:17–20

 

Our Father in Heaven Protects His Children by Giving His Holy Angels Charge Over Them

 

We live in “a time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), in the midst of great tribulation; for Satan and his wicked angels have been thrown out of heaven and have come down to earth “in great wrath,” with woeful “temptations to sin” and with constant accusations (Rev. 12:8–12; Matt. 18:7). Even so, we are encouraged by the presence and protection of St. Michael and the holy angels, whom God sends to help us in the strife (Dan. 10:11–13). By “the authority of his Christ,” His holy angels guard and keep us in body and soul. These heavenly servants of God preserve His human messengers on earth, the ministers of “the blood of the Lamb,” against all the power of the enemy; for by “the word of their testimony,” the Church is saved and the devil is defeated (Rev. 12:10–11; Luke 10:18–19). By their preaching and Baptism of repentance, the old Adam and the old evil foe are “drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6); and as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, so are His people delivered and raised from the dust of the earth through the forgiveness of their sins (Dan. 12:1–3).

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Proper 20C)

22 September 2019

 

Amos 8:4–7

1 Timothy 2:1–15

Luke 16:1–15

 

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

 

Because God, our Savior, “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), He urges “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Tim. 2:1). Christians should so pray “without anger or quarreling, but “adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control” (1 Tim. 2:8, 9). For the Lord does not forget “the poor of the land” (Amos 8:4). He remembers them according to the foolishness of the cross. “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Though we try to justify ourselves “before men,” God knows our sinful hearts and calls us to repentance (Luke 16:15). Though we are “not strong enough to dig,” and we are “ashamed to beg” (Luke 16:3), He justifies us by His grace and welcomes us into His “eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). More shrewd than even “the sons of this world” (Luke 16:8), He requires His stewards of the Gospel to bestow forgiveness freely.

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Proper 19C)

15 September 2019

 

Ezekiel 34:11–24

1 Timothy 1:(5–11) 12–17

Luke 15:1–10

 

Jesus Christ Is the Great Shepherd of His Sheep

 

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). As He had mercy on Paul, in order to “display his perfect patience” (1 Tim. 1:16), so also does He seek out His sheep “from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Ezek. 34:12). To deliver His flock, He “will seek the lost, … bring back the strayed, … bind up the injured, and … strengthen the weak” (Ezek. 34:16), and “they shall no longer be a prey” (Ezek. 34:22). He sets over them one great Good Shepherd, the Son of David, who “shall feed them and be their shepherd” (Ezek. 34:23). For Christ Jesus is the one man who, “having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them,” would “leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it” (Luke 15:4). When He finds the lost one and brings it home rejoicing, “the angels of God” and all the company of heaven rejoice with Him, with great joy (Luke 15:7, 10).