Exodus 34,29-35 1222
Letzter Sonntag nach Epiphanias 18
Dorothea, Virgin, Martyr at Caesarea in Cappadocia 287
Amand, Pastor and Apostle to the Franks in the Low Countries ✠ 675
6. Febuar 2022
1. ℣ Thy lightnings lighted up the world:
℟ The earth trembled and shook (Psalm 77,18).
O Lord, Thou transfigured sun of grace; shine upon us even and guide us through the field of tears into the land of sweet delight, so that Your delight that exalts us never fades. Amen. (Morgenglanz her Ewigkeit elkg 693,5 2021)
2. »When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.«
3. When Yahweh appears, creation responds to His presence At Sinai, there was lightning, thick clouds and an earthquake At Bethlehem, there was a star and a host of angels. When Moses spoke to Yahweh, His face radiated the Divine Glory.
4. Israel trembled in fear at Sinai. They did not desire to approach the mount. Moses’ shining face made them afraid. They recognized they were in the presence of the Holy and Almighty Yahweh. They were consciously aware of their sinfulness and unworthiness to be in His Divine presence.
5. In his explanations of the 10 Commandments, Luther writes that we should fear God. Sin is an affront to His holiness. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide from God because of our sin, and that hiding often makes things worse because, try as we might, we can’t atone for our sin or cleanse ourselves before the Holy God. Thus we often fear His wrath and punishment.
6. Luther then writes in his explanations to the Commandments that we should love God. But how can we love Him if we are in fear of Him? That is the sinful, human dilemma. When Jesus was transfigured, God the Father spoke from the Cloud: »This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased« (Matthew 17,5). God serves us. God shows us love. His love conquers our fear. God the Father loves His creation and His only Son. He sent Jesus to show us His love. John records the very words of Jesus in his Gospel where he writes: »For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life« (John 3,16). This love is shown at Jesus’ vicarious sacrifice on the cross for us to pay the redemption price for our sin.
7. Luther finally writes in his explanation to the Commandments that we should trust God. Since we see the love of God the Father manifested for us in the crucifixion of Jesus, we trust in Him and His vicarious sacrifice. Furthermore, when we pray Our Father who art in heaven, with these words God tenderly invites us to trust that He is our true Father and that we are His true children (Small Catechism Lord’s Prayer Introduction). To trust God is to believe that His gospel and promise to us is true.
8. Jesus is the epiphany of God in our midst. He manifests Himself among us to be our Savior, Redeemer and Friend. By taking upon Himself a human body, men and women can be in the presence of the Divine without the fear Israel exhibited at Sinai. When Jesus bids us draw unto Him so He may give us rest, we are able to do so and let Him bear our heavy laden burdens We do not draw nigh to Him in terror, but we approach Him with trust, for He who first loved us will always be our comfort sure (Lord Jesus Christ, with Us Abide lsb 585,6).
9. Yahweh enters our midst through His Word and Sacraments. We do not tremble in fear, but receive Him with reverent awe as we fear, love and trust Jesus who gives us forgiveness and salvation through His preached Word, the water of Baptism and the bread and wine of His Lord’s Super. Let us receive Him and the gifts of eternal life that He graciously offers to us.
10. For the joy Thine advent gave us,
For Thy holy, precious Word;
For Thy Baptism which doth save us,
For Thy blest Communion board;
For Thy death, the bitter scorn,
For Thy resurrection morn,
Lord, [we] thank Thee and extol Thee,
And in heaven we shall behold Thee. (Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious lsb 548,3)
This is most certainly true.
11. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippines 4,7). Amen.
12. Let us pray. O Lord God, Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have sown the good seed of Your holy Word in our hearts. By Your Holy Spirit cause this seed to grow and bear fruit, and defend us from the enemy, so that he may not s0w weeds among us. Keep us from worldly security, help us in all temptations and at last give us eternal salvation. Amen. (Veit Dietrich, Summaria christlicher lehr, Epiphany 5, 1548; Stratman 33-34).
To God alone be the Glory
Gode ealdore sy se cyneþrymm
All Scriptural quotations are translations done by The Rev. Peter A. Bauernfeind using the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 4. Edition © 1990 by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart, and the Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28. Revised Edition © 2012 by Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.
ELKB. Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern. www.bayern-evangelisch.de/www/index.php. Copyright © 2019 Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche in Bayern.
VELKD. Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands. www.velkd.de. Copyright © 2020 Vereinigte Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche Deutschlands.
Evangelisch-Lutherisches Kirchengesangbuch. Copyright © 2021. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
Lutheran Service Book. Copyright © 2006. Concordia Publishing House.
Stratman, Paul C. Prayers for the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage. Copyright © 2017.