Week of Oct 28 – Nov 3
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(For the week of Reformation – Starting Sunday October 28th)
First Reading (Revelation 14:6-7)
- “This is the fifth of seven visions. In this vision John sees three angels. Many Lutheran writers identify the first angel as Martin Luther. John saw this angel ‘flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on earth.’ Certainly Dr. Luther, with his clear preaching of the gospel, must be included among those who fulfill the prophetic vision. The Lutheran church has well chosen verses 6 and 7 as a Scripture reading for the festival of Reformation. Yet it is clear that the setting for this vision is the entire New Testament age. Thus this angel symbolizes every faithful gospel witness from John’s writing until the end of the world. He flies ‘in midair’ so that this message will be heard by ‘every nation, tribe, language, and people.’ His gospel is ‘eternal’ because, even though the time for its proclamation will end, the fulfillment of its promises stretches into eternity.” (People’s Bible Commentary Revelation page 142)
- The word “fear” can give us trouble. In the catechism, we’re reminded to, “Fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” Should we be afraid of God? Yes, if we don’t know that we are forgiven by Christ’s blood, we should fear God’s wrath. However, fear has another meaning. We are to respect God above all things. This angel is calling us to respect God and give him glory. We should give our Father all glory and praise due His name.
Second Reading (Romans 3:19-28)
- Knowing the law reminds us of how great our sins are. We know that speeding is against the law, but we justify it by saying we needed to go the speed of traffic. We know stealing is against the law, but is that song really worth $.99? Knowing the law, we become aware of how often we break it. We cannot be declared right before God because of our actions. Thankfully, Jesus has died for our sins and we are declared righteous before the Father because of His blood. We still sin daily and much, but Christ forgives us of our sins.
- We like to think the early church was perfect, we read about how unified they were in Acts. We sometimes miss that they had disputes as well. Some people were overlooked in the food distribution and there was a big “doctrinal” argument about circumcision. Should the Gentiles have to be circumcised. The Jews were supposed to be. That’s one of the things that set them apart as God’s people. Obviously, the church survived this dispute. Churches will have arguments and disagreements. God’s church continues to exist despite the petty squabbles and debates about doctrine. Christ continues to love and forgive us even though we are sinful humans making up His church.
The Holy Gospel (John 8:31-36)
- We were slaves to our sin. We served our sinful nature and could not set ourselves free. Christ came and died on the cross for our sins and now we are set free. We no longer need to live under the control of sin. In our baptism, we’ve been freed to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to serve Christ, our Savior.
- It was hard for the Pharisees and others to hear their deeds weren’t going to save them. They’ve worked hard to keep the Torah. They also worked hard to keep man’s law as well. Their whole life has been in vain. They focused on their deeds and trusted those deeds would save them. Yet, those deeds became idols and the “savior” in their life. Be careful to not rely on your deeds to save you. Instead, we have freedom in Christ alone, through faith alone. Christ is our freedom. Christ is our salvation.