Saturday of the Week of the Transfiguration

Daily Lectionary: Job 7:1-21; John 4:7-26

It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. (Psalm 18:32 from the Introit for Septuagesima)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Is your way perfect? Do you live perfectly? Do you even try? Some people would read this passage and say, "Well, God gives you the strength to resist evil and do the right thing. Your walk, your life, how you live and conduct yourself is up to you, with God's help." Thanks for the despair! We'd never do it!

When the Psalmist says that God gives us strength and makes our way perfect, it means He is giving us Jesus. After all, Jesus is the "WAY" (John 14:6). Jesus is your strength, not because He fights WITH you, but because He fights FOR you. He's not your Way because you can follow Him but because He is the way of eternal life. His life, death, and resurrection are the way by which we have been brought back to God.

Now, out in the world, where folks want to trash talk you and belittle you for being a Christian, and where your sinful flesh wants to go its merry way, you need the strength and perfect way. So that's why you go to church. It's there, in the Divine Service, where Jesus is given to you as your strength and perfect way.

You are armed with your Baptism that gives you victory over death. You are armed with Absolution by which your sins are swept away. You are armed with the Word of God by which you know your sins are forgiven and by which you learn how to live in Christ for the good of others. You are armed with the Body and Blood by which you will triumph over death and be raised up on the Last Day.

Those gifts go with you out into the world. You may stumble, fumble, mess up, and sin. However, that strength and way are not yours, but Christ's, and it is His Word and promise which give them to you. So, rejoice in worship tomorrow to receive not merely help or assistance but the sure and complete and certain victory over your enemies, because you receive Christ there. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Christ is the world's Redeemer, The lover of the pure, The font of heav'nly wisdom, Our trust and hope secure, The armor of His soldiers, The Lord of earth and sky, Our health while we are living, Our life when we shall die. (Christ Is the World's Redeemer, LSB 539:1)

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