Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekly Meditations

Well - this week I have restarted my weekly Meditations - an email I send out Sunday Night/ Monday morning that is a brief meditation on the previous Sunday's Epistle or Old Testament. It also gives the daily readings as found in LSB and any announcements or reminders for the congregation.

If you would like to get the Weekly Meditation - e-mail me at zionlahoma @ yahoo . com (without the spaces, of course) and I will add you.

Here is today's (minus the readings and announcements).

Greetings in the Name of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

It has been a while since I last sent one of these out (looking back it seems as though I got out of the habit when heading down to Houston last summer for the Synodical Convention) - but the day after Easter is as good a time as any to restart this weekly e-mail back up again.

This morning let's look at yesterday's Epistle - 1 Corinthians 15:12-26, in particular verses 25 and 26 which read, "For [Jesus] must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

Any reading in 1 Corinthians is going to be interesting, because Paul is dealing with so many random and varied heresies - things that we instinctively know to avoid today. We know this today because God in His Wisdom had 1 Corinthians written. One of these errors. . . and one that is starting to creep up again today is a denial of the Resurrection - people who say that Jesus didn't really rise. This is who Paul is responding to in chapter 15.

Some people just didn't see the need for a Resurrection - after all (they would say), Christianity is about moral living, or how you do here in the world - and as for what comes next - eh, who cares? Even today, how much focus is given in mainstream, American Christianity to using the Church to make you a better person now, to have more wealth now, to be happier now? If you look at a Christian section in a book store, what is there more of - books on Christian doctrine and what we believe - or books that are basically Christian self-help or guides to wealth and happiness. What can you do yourself (following God's advice, mind you), to get _______ now - that seems to be the predominate American attitude.

Contrast that with a verse from the Psalms we quote every Sunday. "Our help is in the Name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." I love starting the service that way - it reminds us how our relationship with God is established. We don't help ourselves - God is the one who helps us - and He has big things on His plate. He is our Creator, and as such, He wishes to restore us to what He made us to be, what we were before the fall. That means God Himself must fight against anything that would make us be less than what He made us to be. And then we hear from St. Paul - "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

Oftentimes pictures of the Risen Christ will be called a "Christus Victor" - or Christ Victorious. It is a reminder that in His resurrection Christ has claimed victory over the last enemy - death. God, in His desire and task to restore you to whom He desires you to be has even vanquished death. This is our hope as Christians - that we need not worry about living our best life now - for we know what is to come.

"I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come." Because Christ has risen, we can look forward, we can expect our own resurrection. Because He lives, we know we will have life, true life, freed from all sin, in the world to come. This is our hope and our focus - the battles that Christ has won for us.

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