Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 8:13-9:17; Mark 4:1-20

".. who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and the power of the devil."

(The Small Catechism Second Article, Part 2)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. Let's make this absolutely and completely...Lenty clear: You cannot save yourself. You cannot rescue yourself from what you have done. You can't make what you haven't done better before God. Your good can't undo your bad. There is no way for you to get out of the hell you deserve. You are evil, so give up thinking anything else about yourself other than that you are a sinner.

You might not believe me. You might not feel it. You might think this is just exaggeration. Perhaps you justify yourself and say, "I'm mostly good and nobody is perfect anyway."

But the Scriptures, the Word of God, say this about you: You are evil. No good dwells within you. Nothing of you is pointed toward God. You are born God's enemy. You aren't on God's team. What's worst of all? In the midst of all your evil, you look at others as if they are the ones with the problem!

Christ came to save those who cannot save themselves. He was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried to redeem you He did all this to buy you back from all that separates you from God, with His holy life and His bitter, suffering death. His life is your life before God. His death is the atoning sacrifice for your sins and the sins of the whole world!

Christ came into the world to save sinners. He came into the world to save you. This is the Gospel. His salvation is undeserved, unmerited, by grace alone, true. It comes as a gift--not to those who have their own holiness but specifically to those who aren't holy at all. To the lost sheep, He is the Good Shepherd. To the sick, He is the Good Physician. To the sinner, He's the sacrifice making them--making you--acceptable to God.

In Him, you are now holy. You are pure. You are without spot or blemish. You are completely and totally perfect before God in Christ. You are His beloved child, baptized in His Name. What is true of Christ is true of you now, by that water and Word. You have been set apart for God. Give up thinking that you are anything less than His saint today, His holy one.

You are completely a sinner. You are a sinner for whom Jesus died. You are forgiven. You are completely a saint in Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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