Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday in Pentecost, Proper 9: Christ reigns in the midst of his enemies

Opening Sentence
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

Commemoration: Silas
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Silas, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Turkey, Greece, and Macedonia. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 16, 17

Lessons: Deuteronomy 31:7-13, 24-32:4Romans 10:1-13Matthew 24:15-31

From the first moment of our faith we have the consolation from the lips of the Lord that God has revealed to babes what is hidden from the wise and understanding [Matt. 11:25], when we lovingly keep the Word of the Lord in our hearts we soon learn that his Word, as he says, is spirit and life. For long before we glimpse the light revealing the deep secret that he himself is in his Word we sense it in the security we have in the faith, so that we do not ask, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down) or "Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)" [Rom. 10:6-7], and we find it divinely affirmed by the power of the Word of the Lord within us and through him to whom God the Father said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool!" [Ps. 110:1].

Yes, my friends, that Word of the Lord to which we refer is the confession of faith with the words of institution both at baptism and at the Lord's Supper, including the Lord's Prayer and benediction. This Word cannot dwell a single day in a believing heart and not reign over its enemies, as it is written about the Lord. And these known enemies--conceit with all its doubts and objections, willfulness with all its ungodly lust, and egotism with all its worldly covetousness--are trampled to death daily under the feet of the Word, just as all enemies of the Lord eventually shall be laid under his footstool while the heavens rejoice: the nations of the world belong to the Lord and his Anointed!

All our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and all our hope of his glory rest in the faith that he sits at the right hand of God, from whence he shall come again to judge the living and the dead. Just so, our faith is enlivened by our belief that the Word of the Lord reigns divinely within us, and only when we thereby learn that the Lord truly is one with his Word can we also clearly perceive that the Lord Jesus Christ reigns in the midst of his enemies and sits at the right hand of God the Father, while all his enemies are placed under his footstool.

Nikolai F.S. Grundtvig

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty