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3/17: Without Fear

2 Lent, March 17

Gen. 15:1-12, 17-18Ps. 27
Phil. 3:17-4:1Luke 13:31-35

“Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting our demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work’” (Luke 13:32). Jesus will do what he will do and from day to day. He will cast out demons and cure the ill. He will go where the Father sends him, even to Jerusalem, that great city on a hill. He will suffer rejection, unjust judgment, and a brutal death. He will finish his work of the third day, breaking the bonds of death and hell. He will do all this with a love that gathers children and shelters them with sure and loving arms.

Rising from the dead, Jesus will show his almighty power, a power he held all along. Walking those ancient streets, he had no reason to fear Herod, and he had no intention to escape. He is the way and he will go where he will go and do what he will do.

Jesus has taken upon himself our humanity and assumed it into his divine life. Caught up in Christ, we may affirm with total confidence: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:27-28). This unity amid diversity is also a mixture and a multitude, millions upon millions, a countless host. Inside the heart of Jesus there is a mansion of many rooms, a place for all the descendants of Abraham and all the peoples of the earth with whom Abraham would share his blessing. How many?

“He brought [Abraham] outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (Gen. 15:5). The stars of heaven are akin to the souls set alight in the heart of Jesus. This is not mere inclusion, but transformation, a kind of transposition from the key of fallen humanity to the key of life and hope and redemption in Christ.

Jesus is home. “[O]ur citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all thing subject to himself” (Phil. 3:20-21). Subjection to Jesus is not submission to an arbitrary and belligerent will. It is rather a conformity — a being formed together with all in Christ — being refashioned as your highest self as willed by God in Christ. To be a member of the body of his glory is to be gloriously free.

We are in Christ. And so we need not fear Herod, or any person. In Christ we may say, “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1b). “For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock” (Ps. 27:5).

We see the storms and feel the wind and hear the sound of many waters in this tumultuous age. Sometimes we tremble, sometimes we sink, sometimes we faint from fear and weep with sorrow. Still, Jesus embraces and holds fast, and loses not one. Not one.

Look It Up
From the Collect: “Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son.”

Think About It
His glory and mercy say, “Be not afraid.”


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