Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 36

1 Peter 5:12-14 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Peter had help in writing this letter that has engaged us these past few weeks. The authority Peter had as an apostle in the church was a marvelous gift from Christ, but he was not alone in giving us these words. After all, we in the church are never alone. It is likely that Peter dictated the letter while Silvanus wrote the words. The church in Rome (“she who is at Babylon….”) sent greetings to remind Peter’s readers that they are a part of a larger body which battles and prays alongside of them. Finally, Peter’s dear friend Mark (the author of the Gospel?) sent his love.

Peter was not alone in writing this letter. But, He had one more companion (if He can be called that) who breathed these words out through Silvanus’ pen. That is the Lord Himself! This Lord who was with Peter and his companions in writing this letter, is with His church even today. He does not leave us alone!

Consider how He makes Himself present with us: Peter has exhorted and declared to us God’s Word in this letter, which means that God is speaking to His church through it. He who suffered for the sake of the church comes to her in her trials. He who offered Himself as a bloody sacrifice for our sins comes to give us His body and blood for our forgiveness in the Sacrament. He who is risen from the dead comes to promise us resurrection in our baptisms. He who lives and reigns to show us mercy speaks His Word into our ears and hearts whenever we hear it proclaimed. He is with us. He will never forsake us. Such comfort leads Peter to close his letter by saying, “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” AMEN!

Father, you never forsake your church. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to unite us to Christ and your church. By the work of your Spirit and Son in the Word and sacraments, keep us faithful to the end. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob


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