EPIPHANY IV – MONDAY
LESSON: JOHN 15:18-27
Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. 1 John 5:4
God so arranges matters that our faith is not called upon to concern itself with unimportant matters, but with matter which exceed the competence of all men, matters such as death, sin, the world, and the devil.
There is no one in the whole world who can withstand death. All men flee from death and quake in terror before it. Nevertheless, they are overtaken by death. But faith remains firm and stands up against death which gobbles up the whole world. It conquers death and devours this ravenous glutton.
So also, the whole world cannot constrain or suppress the flesh. It is in control of the whole world and what it wills must happen, so that the whole world is fleshly. But faith takes hold of the flesh and subdues it. Faith bridles the flesh into obedience.
Similarly, no man can endure the raging, persecution, blasphemy, reproach, hatred, and jealousy of the world. Every man gives way and becomes exhausted. The world gains the upper hand and carries off the victory. It makes a mockery of faith and treads it under foot, and even finds joy and pleasure in all this.
Faith alone is the victory that overcomes the world.
PRAYER: We know, O Christ, that by your glorious resurrection from the dead you have conquered and destroyed death as far as we are concerned. Keep us ever mindful of this truth, especially in the hour of death and amidst the ragings of the world. Amen.