Today's Reading: Introit for Easter 2
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word. (1 Peter 2:2, Antiphon for the Introit of Easter 2)
Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the name of Jesus. Be a newborn babe, dear child of God. I've been a believer for a lot of years. In fact, I can't remember when I didn' t have faith in Christ. Maybe the same is true for you. Yet we are still newborn babes. Think about it: On the timeline of our eternities, we've been alive the equivalent of less than a nanosecond so far. So we' re still newborns.
But when he urges us to be newborns, Peter isn't really talking about the amount of time we've been children of God. He's talking about how we act as children of God. He' s urging us to crave God's Word the way infants crave milk. A newborn baby can't live without milk; you and I can't live without God's Word.
But what if you have no desire to listen to your Lord? What if you don't crave His Word? Then look at your life in the mirror of the Ten Commandments — and remember that every sin exposed by those Commandments condemns you to hell. If you still don't want God's Word, consider whether you'll be facing any temptations today — and ask yourself if you're able to resist all those lures of the world. Finally, listen to Peter when he tells you that the devil — against whom you are powerless — is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking to devour you.
That's why you need the milk of God's Word. Almost 2000 years ago, Jesus single-handedly undid your death, sewed Satan's mouth shut so he cannot accuse you or devour you, and bore all the consequences of your sin so you don't have to bear them. That's the message you need to hear when you're feeling guilt, needing strength, or wondering if God could ever love a sinner like you. And that's what you do hear when your Lord speaks.
With plain old words like the ones you are reading now and the ones your pastor will speak to you tomorrow, your Lord nourishes your faith in Jesus and fortifies you for life in this world as His child. With bread and wine — bread and wine infused with that life-giving Word we're invited to crave — your Lord gives you the once-dead-for-you but now-alive-for-you body and blood of Jesus.
No matter how old we baptized people of God might be, we have the privilege of remaining infants in the care of our Father. Tomorrow in the Divine Service and always, He invites you to crave every promise He speaks to you. As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, the Word that declares, "Christ is risen!"