Monday after Quasimodogeniti
Posted on April 12, 2021 byunder
Scripture: Ezekiel 36:22-27 (NKJV)
36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
The justification of God’s people is the glory of God Himself—a vindication of His just and holy name. Dr. Luther explains in the Small Catechism concerning the Lord’s Prayer, “God’s name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray that it may be holy among us also.” From an outside perspective, the sanctity (or lack thereof) of God’s name was judged by the holiness or wickedness of His people. The prophet Ezekiel tells us that His reputation among the heathen nations had been ruined because of Israel’s sinfulness: they gave in to the desires of the flesh, broke the Lord’s commandments, and even worshiped false gods. If the people were so immoral, what did that say about their God? But God would not let His name be so profaned. He would sanctify it by sanctifying the people. He would wash them, cleanse them, and renew their minds and hearts to follow His commandments. He did this, not for their sake, but for His own name’s sake.
When the Lord justifies us sinners, He reveals Himself as just, as St. Paul writes: “…that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). Our Christian lives not only say something about us, but also about our God. Therefore, as Jesus teaches us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Prayer: Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who have celebrated the solemnities of the Lord’s resurrection may, by the help of Thy grace, bring forth the fruits thereof in our life and conversation; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.