April 26, 2013 - Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Today's Reading: 1 John 3:1-3

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 18:1-7,20-19:8; Luke 11:1-13

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (1 John 3:1)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. So in just what way does God love us? He has made us His children. He has given us new birth from above in the waters of the holy font by which the water and blood and forgiveness from Jesus on the cross flow to us. THAT is how God loves you.

So why does the world hate you? Because it doesn't know Him. Doesn't want to know that it has sins and needs a Savior. Doesn't want the Savior when He shows up.

But notice something. The love that God has for us doesn't make us immune to the hatred of the world. In fact, it encourages it. To be loved by God, to be born from above in Christ, is to be a target for the world which hates Jesus. Well what did Jesus do about it? He got killed. You're next!

But what the world doesn't know, doesn't realize, and doesn't understand, is that is that being a child of God is more than just a name for you. It's more than just an idea or title. It's a fact. God is your Father because Christ became man to take away yours sins. You are in the family of God because He has called you to new life in His church where He daily and richly forgives all your sins.

Part of the world's problem is that the only thing it can figure out about God on its own is that there is a law it cannot keep yet. So it either tries to figure out how to make God happy by inventing religions or it turns against God and goes its own way. That's what you were a part of.

Until Jesus rescued you. Died for you. Rose for you. Washed you. Absolved you. Fed you. Made you a child of God. That's how He loved you. In truth, He loves the whole world this way but many people simply refuse. They don't want to be children of God. They'd rather run away from home and thumb their nose at Dad.

But Jesus has brought you into His kingdom. We can't even imagine all He's got in store for us. But it's going to be wonderful. It already is. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Children of the heav'nly Father Safely in His bosom gather; Nestling bird nor star in heaven Such a refuge e'er was given. (Children of the Heavenly Father, LSB 725:1)

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