Daily Lectionary: Judges 14:1-20; Galatians 3:1-22

God will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet. (Psalm 47:3 from the Introit for Trinity 7)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Those words from tomorrow’s Introit sure make it sound like the Christian Church is going to win out over all the nations. But in every nation it seems as if there’s nothing but hostility toward Christ and His people if not outright hatred and murder against them. Around the world, it sure looks like the secular and atheistic values of “no religion” are winning out. It looks like the enemies of the cross of Christ are triumphing.

It looks like that. But there is still the “one, holy, Christian and apostolic church.” Wherever Christ’s Word is preached, the Holy Spirit is still saving sinners. They trust in Christ and even through persecution and martyrdom, and they rejoice in the crown of life they receive.

And it’s always been so. From the days of Adam and Eve, through Noah, through the nation of Israel, through the life of the Christian Church since Jesus and the Apostle, the world has tried to destroy the Church, wipe out God, and destroy religion and faith. But the Holy Spirit just keeps on saving people through that Gospel.

Tomorrow in the Divine Service, you will see how these words of the psalm come true. The preaching of Christ you hear tomorrow is heard all over the world. Those baptized into Christ are gathered together in magnificent churches or humble huts. The delivery of Christ’s Body and Blood happens among many or among few. The Good News of Christ crucified and risen is preached, loudly and openly, sometimes in secret. But this is going on all over the world. And wherever the Holy Spirit is converting sinners into Christians, that is the Lord “subduing” the peoples.

Looks are deceiving. The Church looks like she’s in trouble, but she’s not because Her Lord never leaves her nor forsakes her. And that means He never leaves nor forsakes you and those who are a part of His Body. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Preserve, O Lord, Your Zion, Bought dearly with Your blood; Protect what You have chosen Against the hellish flood. Be always our defender When dangers gather round; When all the earth is crumbling, Safe may Your Church be found. (Preserve Your Word, O Savior, LSB 658:3)

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