✠ One Message: Christ crucified and risen for you ✠
The Word of the Lord Endures Forever
Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum
Psalm 48,1-2.9-11.14; Psalm 43,3 4117
8. Trinitatis 053
The Transfiguration of Christ
6. August 2017
1. O Jesus Christ, our Rock of refuge and a Strong Fortress, draw us into the safety of Your heavenly gates, so that we never be put to shame. Amen. (Gradual).
2. Send out Your Light and Your Truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling! Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the Great King. We have thought on Your loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of Your temple. As Your Name, O God, so Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness. Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of Your judgments! This is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
3. The Psalmist proclaims in today’s Introit that »The Lord’s Light and Truth lead to His holy hill and dwelling.« For the Psalmist, this holy hill and dwelling of the Lord was Mt. Zion in Jerusalem for that is where the temple sat and the ark of the covenant resided in its most holy place. The ark was the Lord’s throne upon the earth and He was visibly present in the most holy place. So holy was that space that only the high priest could enter it on one day of the year: Yom Kippur, the day of atonement when animals were sacrificed for the sin of the nation of Israel.
4. Zion was both the dwelling of the Lord’s Divine Presence (His Shekinah Glory) and the mercy seat wear the blood of lambs was poured out in the forgiveness of Israel’s sin. Truly, »Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the Great King.«
5. Jesus arrived as the Son of Man to be the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world (Matthew 5,13-14). Jesus is the fulfillment of the temple on Zion’ hill. He is both the embodiment in the flesh of the Lord’s Divine Presence and He is the sacrifice as the Lamb of God whose blood has redeemed us and forgiven all our sin. Jesus also prophesied that He would destroy this temple of His body and raise it again in new life three days later (John 2,19). In Jesus we have the loving-kindness of God, and His right hand is filled with righteousness. St. Paul proclaims: »a person is not righteous by the works of the law, but righteous by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, so that we might be righteous by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be righteous« (Galatians 2,16). This is atonement language; God sent Jesus to atone for our sins and to set right fallen men and women who have warped their image and likeness of God. This is the gospel preached in the Church, and this gospel creates faith in Jesus the Faithful One.
6. Christ is the Salt and Light of the world. He exemplified this by healing fallen creation by forgiving people’s sin and healing the sick. Jesus declares that we also are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He exhorts us to point others to Him, for He is the Savior and Redeemer of the fallen world. Faith also yields the fruit of love. In loving our neighbors we not only show them Christ but we also help them in whatever need we find them in. Being salt and light means asking: Is what I am saying/doing faithful to Christ? Is what I am saying/doing showing love to my neighbor?
7. Let your faith in Christ shine forth; let your love be a seasoning in the lives of your neighbor. The Introit promises us: God will guide our way. Christ shone His Light in the darkness and found those lost in their fallen state; follow Christ and find those lost, give them Christ, and His gospel will enlighten them too. Amen.
8. Let us pray. O God, whose Name is glorious, daily assure us of Your loving kindness and faithfulness in Christ, so that we may be light and salt to the world. Amen.
To God alone be the Glory
Soli Deo Gloria
All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4th Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 27th Edition © 1993 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.
All quotations from the Book of Concord are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using Die Bekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche, 12. Edition © 1998 by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.