Christ has died, and Christ is risen indeed.
Christian, you also have died with Him by your Baptism into His death; and so are you raised with Him to newness of life. Indeed, He is your life and your salvation, and in Him you already live with God in heaven, even while you live and walk here on earth.
Set your heart and mind on Him, by hearing and heeding His Word.
It is no sin to live here on earth in your body, where the Lord your God has called you and positioned you. There is no sin in going to work and doing your job, nor in going fishing for the fun of it, or whatever your own hobbies and pastimes may be. Do not repent for work and play, but do consider where your heart and mind are set as you go about doing whatever it is you do.
All your labors will accomplish nothing apart from the Word of Christ. But at His Word, great good things happen in abundance; and by faith in His Word, though you may be stretched and strained, you are neither broken nor torn. For His Word is fruitful, and His Word sustains you.
But what, then, if you have fallen into the trap of working to make a life for yourself apart from faith in Christ's Word? What if you have lost sight of Him and no longer know Him? What of your doubts and denials, your uncertainty and fears, and your cynical skepticism?
Whether you have fallen far or have only begun to wander away from Christ Jesus, return to the Lord, who gently beckons you to Himself and makes Himself known to you again and again. Or, if you have never yet been able to walk in His way of life, be raised up now at His Word. For He has fixed His gaze upon you in love, and He is calling you to Himself.
Come, return to the cleansing significance of your Baptism, to the washing of the water with His Word. Not to be rebaptized, but through contrition and repentance and the confession of your sins, be drowned and die, with all your sinful lusts and desires, and be raised up again through the forgiveness of all your sins in Jesus' name.
Do not dress yourself with your own works, by which you remain naked in your sin. But be clothed by Christ with His Righteousness, by His free and full forgiveness of all your sins; and so live and walk by His grace. Not in guilt and shame, nor in fear, but in peace; so that you are at rest in Him, even while you are hard at work (or carefree in your play).
If you have drifted away, or if you have not, either way, do not abandon the Boat of the Church, the Holy Ark of Christendom. But draw near to Christ within that great vessel, though she may appear to be little and of no consequence.
By the death of Christ at the ninth hour, a beautiful gate indeed, you have entered the holy Temple of His Church, which is His own Body.
And in His Resurrection from the dead, your prayer now ascends to His Father at every hour — at all times and in all places — and His tender mercy descends upon you. Not silver and gold, which perish, but the holy, precious blood of the spotless Lamb, and His sacred flesh, which is your meat indeed.
Here is the Meal He has prepared with His own hand, by His own hard labor and the sweat of His brow. Here is the Feast to break your fast, who were without any food or drink of your own, despite your toils and long efforts. Come, children, eat and drink, and know your Lord.
In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Bible and Liberty
6 hours ago