Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January 18th, 2017

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Heavenly Father, You revealed to the apostle Peter the blessed truth that Your Son Jesus is the Christ. Strengthen us by the proclamation of this truth that we too may joyfully confess that there is salvation in no one else; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

The confession of St. Peter did not arise in the imagination of Peter’s heart but was revealed to him by the Father. The reason this confession is important is seen in Jesus’ response: “You are Peter [Greek Petros], and on this rock [Greek petra] I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). As the people of God in the Old Testament began with the person of Abraham, the rock from which God’s people were hewn (Isaiah 51:1-2), so the people of God in the New Testament would begin with the person of Peter, whose confession is the rock on which Christ would build His Church. But Peter was not alone (the “keys” given to him in Matthew 16:19 were given to all the disciples in Matthew 18:18 and John 20:21-23). As St. Paul tells us, Peter and the other apostles take their place with the prophets as the foundation of the Church, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). The confession of Peter, therefore, is the witness of the entire apostolic band and is foundational in the building of Christ’s Church. Thus the Church gives thanks to God for St. Peter and the other apostles who have instructed Christ’s Holy Church in His divine and saving truth. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Readings:

Acts 4:8-13

Psalm 118:19-29 

2 Peter 1:1-15

St. Mark 8:27-9:1

John the Baptist told his disciples, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, then one to one,  Andrew tells Peter, then Philip tells Nathaniel.   This is how the faith was spread throughout the Roman Empire under persecution.  There were no church buildings but the temple of the Holy Ghost was there and the church grew exponentially.  The Church held and holds to the confession of Christ, as did Peter and all the apostles.  Pr. Bonhoeffer preaching during a time when the Church was under severe attack and persecution by all the ‘goodness’ the Nazis were doing:

Peter’s church, that does not mean a church of opinions and views, but the church of the revelation; not a church in which what “people say” is talked about but the church in which Peter’s confession is made anew and passed on; the church which has no other purpose in song, prayer, preaching, and action than to pass on its confession of faith…

When it is the church of “what people say” then we are led astray, no longer built on the rock of the confession that Jesus is Lord.  This confession is what we pass on to others…not gossip about God. You  can be, and maybe have been, part of a neighbor, friend or family members’ divine and eternal joy  in Christ by confessing Christ is your Lord.  You are the Lord’s talking, praying, serving Temple. The place with His people receiving the fruits of Jesus’ sacrifice, once and for all, for prayer, praise and thanksgiving, the place of His Word, His Name.  His Temple is all gift.  “…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” (1 Corinthians) 

 I conclude with a quote from Luther’s Sermon on today’s Gospel:

 “…what Christ cannot abide is if I assume that His kingdom is built on my wisdom and riches and that it cannot stand firm and endure without the protection, counsel and service of kings, princes, and lords.  Christ can very well dispense with all this.  He wants it clearly and definitely understood that all who seek entry into His kingdom must seek it by nothing but grace.  Christ has regard for no one because of his pile of guldens (money), his beauty, his wisdom, his golden hair, or because he wears a garment embroidered in gold or silver, or a gray coat. No, it is grace alone that counts.  His is to be a kingdom of grace, belonging to those who are wretched and poor, whether they be men or women, rich or poor.”

The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: