Thursday of the 11th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: Ephesians 2:1-10

Daily Lectionary: 1 Kings 16:29-17:24; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Sin doesn't mean we're defective. It doesn't mean we're broken. It doesn't mean we have some "tendencies." Sin means we're dead. Without life. A corpse. And the Lord brings to life our sin-corpses.

He makes us alive by speaking His Word. When the Lord made man, He formed him from the dust of the earth and then breathed into him the breath of life. When Lazarus lay dead in the grave, Jesus spoke His Word and Lazarus came out. When the apostles were cowering in the death of post-Good Friday fear, the risen Lord showed up to breathe on them and speak them back to life by giving them the Holy Spirit.

But without the Lord, the dead don't rise. The Lord must do it or it won't happen. This is why it's silly to think that becoming a Christian is something we can do or work out for ourselves. We can't choose to be a follower any more than a dead body can choose to get up and dance.

Jesus gives life to us through His Word. The same Voice that called Lazarus from the grave calls you to come forth from the grave of sin through Baptism. The same Voice declares the Absolution by which you hold death at arm's length. The same Voice declares that His flesh and blood feasted upon means you will be raised up on the Last Day.

You were dead. But now you are alive. Christ has made you alive. That's something you could never do yourself. When St. Paul writes a few verses down that we are saved by grace, not of ourselves, he really means it! That's what it means to be saved by grace--to be made alive when you're dead. It's salvation from outside yourself so that it is always certain. It's from Jesus, who is your life, by giving you life from death. That also means physical death, for your resurrection in Baptism promises you will rise from the grave, too. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

But all of that was washed away--Immersed and drowned forever. The water of your Baptism day Restored again whatever Old Adam and his sin destroyed And all our sinful selves employed According to our nature. (All Christians Who Have Been Baptized, LSB 596:3)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.