Today's Reading: Genesis 2:7-17
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What's the best gift that God gave to Adam and Eve? They could eat from just about any tree in the garden. They lived in paradise. They had dominion over all the animals and were next to God in their position in the universe. But of all the things the Lord gave them, which one was best? His Word. His Word was best because it bestowed upon them their gifts. "Of every tree you may freely eat." And that same Word protected them from danger and evil. "But of the tree of knowledge...you shall not eat...for you shall surely die." The Lord's Word gave gifts and protected them from harm.
What is the greatest gift you have received? A new bike? A new car? A new laptop? A prayer for a sick friend or family member answered? What is most valuable to you? The answer is the Word of God. Above all the things the Lord gives you, His Word is the most important and most precious.
That's because the Word saves you. It takes on sin and death--the very things that would rob you of your life and all your gifts from God. The Word takes those enemies down. The Word was made flesh to be your Savior--to be born for you, die for you and rise again for you.
The Word was written to deliver that Savior to you. To bestow that forgiveness upon you. The Word is added to the water to wash you; spoken by the pastor to forgive you; spoken with bread and wine to give you Jesus' Body and Blood.
The Word teaches you the way of repentance and faith, that the Spirit might turn you from sin to life in Christ. It guides and directs you in how to live in the joy of the Lord's will. It bestows over and over the comfort of Christ's forgiveness when we don't live as we should.
The Word of God, preached and taught and written in the Bible, is your greatest treasure. No wonder it is considered to be better than gold and sweeter than honey! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
In these last days of great distress, Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness That we keep pure till life is spent Your holy Word and Sacrament. (Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide, LSB 585:2)