SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST (Proper 7C)

23 June 2019

 

Isaiah 65:1–9

Galatians 3:23—4:7

Luke 8:26–39

 

Jesus Brings Release from the Bonds of Sin, Death and the Devil

 

The Lord finds those who did not seek Him or ask for Him. He spreads out His hands “to a rebellious people” (Is. 65:2) and calls them to be His people and to dwell in peace upon His holy mountain (Is. 65:9). For wherever Jesus Christ enters in, Satan is cast out. Those who were enslaved and driven mad by the assaults and accusations of the devil are set free by the Word of Christ. He drowns and destroys the old Adam in us with the waters of Holy Baptism and thereby brings us out of death into life. No longer naked in our shame, living “among the tombs” (Luke 8:27), we are brought into the Lord’s house, fully clothed by Christ; He has come in “the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4) to fulfill the Law on our behalf and to redeem us from its every accusation. Therefore, having been justified by His grace through faith in His Gospel, “you are no longer a slave, but a son” (Gal. 4:7).

THE HOLY TRINITY

16 June 2019

 

Proverbs 8:1–4, 22–31

Acts 2:14a, 22–36

John 8:48–59

 

The Triune God Reveals Himself in Christ Jesus

 

The divine Word of the Father also is the holy wisdom who “was beside him, like a master workman,” who “was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always” (Prov. 8:30). This Word became flesh and suffered death in order to bestow life by the preaching of His Gospel “to the children of man” (Prov. 8:4). He honors the Father, and the Father glorifies Him by raising Him from the dead, so that all who keep His Word “will never see death” (John 8:51). Long ago, “father Abraham rejoiced” in the day of Christ, for “he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Though Christ was “crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men,” “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death” (Acts 2:23, 24). As He “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33), so it is by and through the Son that God the Father pours out the Holy Spirit upon His Church.

THE DAY OF PENTECOST

9 June 2019

 

Genesis 11:1–9

Acts 2:1–21

John 14:23–31

 

The Holy Spirit Gives Peace

 

Following the flood, Noah’s descendants failed to spread out and fill the earth as God had spoken. Rather, they exalted themselves; with “one language and the same words” (Gen. 11:1), they spoke proudly and arrogantly. The Lord humbled them by confusing “the language of all the earth,” dividing and dispersing the people (Gen. 11:9). That dispersal was reversed on Pentecost Day (the 50th day of Easter), when God caused the one Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to be preached in a multitude of languages. “At this sound the multitude came together” (Acts 2:6), for the preaching of Christ is the primary work of the Holy Spirit, whereby He gathers people from all nations into one Church. The Holy Spirit teaches and brings to our remembrance the words of Jesus, which are the words of the Father who sent Him. These words bestow forgiveness and peace to those who keep and hold on to them in love for Jesus. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).