Even before you have called, the Lord has answered you in love, and God the Father has given you the Spirit of His Son. In truth, He has poured out the Holy Spirit generously upon you, in and through Christ Jesus, the beloved Son, by the washing of the water with His Word.
He has surely cast out all your demons by the forgiveness of all your sins. He has redeemed and sanctified you by the blood of Christ; cleansed your spirit, soul, and body with the Gospel in His means of grace; given you His holy Name, and adopted you as His own dear child and heir.
Not only that, but, having rescued you from the devil’s clutches and kingdom, the Lord, your God and Father in Christ Jesus, has brought you into the Kingdom of His grace, mercy, and peace, into His home, into His own household and family, and has seated you at His Table.
Here the Father feeds you with His Son, who is your Spiritual Food, your Meat and Drink indeed.
Will you, then, live within the Lord’s House, or be scattered?
Having been cleansed of your iniquity and justified by His grace, will you turn away from the Word of God, and return to your wicked ways, and even go from bad to worse?
It is when you dwell in the waterless places, that is, away from your Baptism into Christ, that your restless heart, soul, mind, and spirit become the devil’s resting place and playground once again.
Therefore, do not become complacent. Do not abuse your freedom by giving yourself over to sin.
If your heart is divided against the Lord your God, so that you do not live with Him but in the devil’s domain — which is to be found, not only in the likes of voodoo and black magic, but as much or more in cases of enmity, hardness of heart, and persistence in unrepentant sins of any sort — if that is the house in which you live, then you shall not stand or abide in the Lord’s House.
But, now, rather, hear the Word of Christ, and take it to heart. Trust that His Word of the Gospel is Spirit and Truth; and it is for you.
Daily repent of your sins, and return to the Lord your God, who loves you and does not want you to die or perish. He does not want to let you go, but to give you His own Life. Why, therefore, should you not live? Not by your own reason or strength, nor by your good works or hard efforts, but by the Love of God in Christ: Who, in His weakness, is stronger than the devil.
He has redeemed you and rescued you, and with Him there is mercy and forgiveness. His House stands here for you: Make yourself at home. Recline at His Table and rest. Eat, drink, and live!
In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A sword in the hat is better than a foot in your mouth. All the better if it is that double-bladed sword that slices and dices between bone and marrow. But I have always liked to sort things out by thinking out loud with friends and colleagues. And since my opportunities to do so are limited, I figure I can multiply my thinking and sorting here.
Married 31 years, my wife and I have had ten children born to us (six boys, four girls); we have another son and daughter by marriage (and will soon have another daughter by marriage), a son who went ahead of us to heaven from the womb, six grandchildren and counting. I was ordained in 1996, and have been the pastor of Emmaus since then. I have a Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame (2003), and an S.T.M. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana