The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost, July 7, 2019

Gospel Luke 10:1-20

The church is rooted in the teaching of Jesus – His Holy Gospel and His institution of the Sacraments.  The ones who are sent by Jesus to proclaim this ministry of Word and Sacrament speak and act in the name of Jesus, in a world where many reject the message and the One who sends out the message and the messengers.  The church today dares not seek visible achievements or worldly ambition as the key to some kind of earthly fulfillment.  Pride and a theology of success are just tools Satan will continue to use in the church to divide and discourage, thereby thwarting true ministry.  So Jesus instead says to the seventy-two who have returned, “rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Lk 10:20).  

Are these words for you as well?  Indeed they are.  Rejoice that by the power of the Holy Spirit you have received and not rejected and are therefore numbered with the saints in glory everlasting.  Rejoice that in your Baptism Christ has made you His own and your sins are covered with His blood, that through the water and the Word all the dust and dirt is gone and you are made clean and white in righteousness.  Rejoice even though in some ways St. Luke leaves us wondering and waiting.  But God’s people, His Body the Church, are to walk in this earthly pilgrimage in the assurance that Christ has made us His own.  Because your “name is written in heaven” God will not forget you; he has not forsaken you because your Saviour died to take away your sins and give you eternal life.

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