As we approach the end of all things and the great Day of Judgment, we want to make sure we have it all straight; the readings for this Sunday help us prepare by their careful description of what is to come, so that we will not fear as we look and long for the day of his appearing. Rather, clinging to his grace in Word and sacraments we strive to live as though who know what to expect at the end of it all. Saints Triumphant Sunday draws us to the house of the Lord. Our worship together in church here on earth is just a small taste of eternal joy waiting for us in heaven.
Today’s Service Theme: In the end, you will be judged worthy of life – because of Christ! Jesus assures us that there is a happy harmony between himself and his Father in everything. Therefore, we need not fear that what he has said might be contradicted by his Father. The Father loves his incarnate Son so much that everything has already been handed over to him. By his Word we are assured of everlasting life. Therefore, worship the Son who has won that life for us. What else is there really worth doing? May all of our life be an act of honor to the Son of God, our Judge, our Life, our Savior, our All!
Today’s Service Theme: Even at the Festival of the Reformation, it's still all about Jesus. Today we give thanks that we’ve been rescued from the false ways of salvation that could only lead us to ruin and doom. We owe God thanks for that rescue accomplished by his grace alone, on account of Christ’s merit alone, and through the means of grace alone. In living and active faith, we desire to hear the Word of the Lord and respond to his gracious call to reform. Through His Word the Jesus re-form us to be vessels of his grace!
This Sunday we see again the striking difference between a Christian and a worshiper of the false gods of this world. The difference is in the way the way that the Christian looks at life; and also at ambition. No one should be more ambitious than we are, but it's always shaped by faith in Christ. The sharp sword of God’s Word pierces through our hearts and souls so that we can see and know how far we have yet to go and how much we have to confess. Don’t be afraid to do it. Focused on Jesus, we rejoice that Jesus knows what we're going through and that he will one day give us the rest that he has earned and deserved and reserved for us in heaven.
Next to the attachment to hearth and home, a person’s chief attachment is to his wallet. So it is never out of order to consider what God has to say about his gifts of wealth and to let God put those gifts in a proper context for us. “Fix your thoughts on Jesus!” His thoughts were constantly fixed on us as he bore his cross before his Father’s throne and even as he intercedes for us today. In spite of our wandering and foolish misplaced priorities Jesus won for us an eternal home in heaven. He will see to it, as he has in the past, that we have enough and often more than enough to carry out all that he places before us. Focus on Jesus: He is greater- and in him, so are you.