Thursday after the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord
Scripture: Genesis 21:1-8 (NKJV)
1 And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” 7 She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned.
“And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as he had spoken.” Sometimes in the Bible the most important words are the easiest to overlook. In chapters 18 and 19 Abraham and Sarah doubted and questioned the Lord. In chapter 20 they used lying and deception for self-protection and comfort, but the Lord still “visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.”
For us sinners these words should be a great comfort. In the midst of our guilt over our sins, we hear the words, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” In spite of our sin, this promise is still true. In the midst of our guilt over our sins, we hear the words, “Take, eat; this is My body…this is My Blood, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” In spite of our sin, this promise is still true.
Like Abraham and Sarah, we quickly forget God’s promises and we turn to sinful thoughts and actions. In spite of our faithlessness, God is always faithful to His promises. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
On Sunday morning or in private confession we confess our sins and we hear the words of absolution, “I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” In these few words, “I forgive you,” comes our comfort that we are indeed forgiven.
Lord, in the midst of our sins, by Your grace give us repentant hearts, and the faith to believe Your words of forgiveness. Amen.