THE WEEK OF TRINITY XVI – FRIDAY
LESSON: 2 TIMOTHY 1:8-10
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
In our eyes, all miracles and works of God are impossible, and it is also impossible for nature to grasp them. The reason for this is that God wants us to recognize Him as an almighty Creator who brings forth a possibility from an impossibility and makes something out of nothing.
It is impossible for me to become alive again after I have died. Even if I prayed to all the angels and saints for help in this respect, nothing would come of it. What could I hope for from my own free will here? Yet even in death I am bound to say, “I will live.” This does not take place because of anything in myself or due to myself. I know that I have a God who does not make something out of a piece of wood that might be lying before my eyes, but a God who can make a possibility out of an impossibility and something out of nothing. Otherwise, He would not be in reality the true God.
Hence, if death came to me and I could live no longer, I would still be able to say, “I am still going to live and I want to live. The death which is hovering over me is like a tiny spark of fire, and the life that I hope to live looms as large as the ocean.”
Reason cannot grasp how this comes to pass. But he who has faith knows this for certain. To the man with faith, death is as a tiny spark of fire in the middle of a great ocean of life, and the little spark is extinguished in a moment. God is almighty; and he who has faith is in God.
SL 11:1652 (12-13)
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You are the conqueror of sin and death. In Your victory we are also conquerors of these bitter enemies. Be with us all the time of our earthly pilgrimage, especially in the hour of our death, for Your truth and name’s sake. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 5:127-139.