The First Reading, Exodus 3:1-15, is one of the most significant passages in the Old Testament, this is the passage where the LORD appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and proclaimed that He has heard the affliction and suffering of his people and that He will reach into Egypt, the most powerful nation of that time, and bring His people out of slavery into the freedom of the Promised Land as His covenant people. The LORD chose Moses to lead them out. Notice that Moses isn’t so sure he is the one to do this (read the whole chapter), but the LORD promised to be with Moses, and He was.
Notice also that Moses asked a practical question: What is Your Name? How will Moses identify this God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – to the people? The Name God gives is really a hidden Name: I AM WHO I AM, in other words, God is Who He is, and He will do what He will do; the Bible is filled with ways that I AM WHO I AM reveals Himself to us, most clearly in Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior. In the Old Testament every time you see the word LORD, all in caps, this is the divine Name: I AM WHO I AM. In the New Testament, in John 8:58, Jesus claims the Name: I AM for Himself; He is God’s complete revelation to us. Let us follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Holy LORD: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank and praise You for revealing Yourself to us through Scripture, and through Jesus, the Word in God incarnate. Open the eyes and ears of faith to see and hear You as You make Yourself known to us, and increase our faith, hope, and love in You. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
The psalm for this Sunday, Psalm 148, is a psalm of praise. The psalm begins and ends with “Praise the LORD” – hallelujah in Hebrew. Notice how the psalm calls on all of creation to praise the LORD – starting with the heavens and everything in the heavens, to the earth, and all created things and creatures on the earth and in the seas, to all people, great and small. Let us daily join the chorus of praise to the LORD – hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Praise the LORD! All glory, honor, thanks and praise be to You, O LORD, for the gift of creation and new life in Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
The Second Reading is recorded in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, 13-17. This passage deals with the End of the World and the return of Jesus. Notice that even in that day 2,000 years ago there was much talk and speculation about the End of the World. The apostle Paul hints that evil and false worship will greatly increase before Jesus returns and sets all things right, destroying the lawless one with the breath of His mouth – His proclaimed word, the Gospel of Jesus.
Notice also that the apostle Paul reassured the people and told them to remain in the traditions and faith they were taught, and to continue in the works the Lord had given through His word. In the midst of talk of the End of the World, let us remain in the Lord, and live the life of faith He gives us, sharing His love and Gospel through our words and deeds.
Holy Spirit, the End of the World is in the Father’s good plan, enable us to trust in Your timing, and keep us in faith each day, proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Savior by our words and actions. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
The Gospel, recorded in Luke 20:27-40, is near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus’ enemies have tried to trap Him with questions and theological puzzles, this being the 3rd trap (read all of Luke 20 for the context). This time the Sadducees, who don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, have come to Jesus with a question about the resurrection and marriage. This is a situation of what is called Levirate marriage, where a brother will marry a widowed sister-in-law who has no sons, and then father a son for his deceased brother. This is a case of one bride for seven husbands. In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? Jesus answers that in heaven we are no longer in marital relationships, and He firmly affirms the resurrection: God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for all are always alive to God. There is a resurrection to eternal life, where we will enjoy the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. Let us always trust Jesus.
Lord Jesus, we give You thanks and praise that in You we have eternal life. We rejoice that God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the God of each one of us, knowing each of us by name in Baptism, and giving us eternal life through Your death and resurrection. In Your Name we pray Jesus. Amen.