Circuit Winkel 2 (2 Corinthians 3)
- Order of Service: Divine Service 4
- Hymn: LSB #700, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Brothers and sisters, in the midst of Advent and the preparations for Christmas, we need to take this moment as a reminder of where our confidence and sufficiency lies. They lie not in us and our ability to do original sermons for both Sundays and Wednesdays. They come from our Lord Jesus Christ. The subject of those sermons. The object of our worship and adoration in this season of preparation.
You have confidence in Christ as you proclaim His Word because He took on flesh for you. He knows the struggles and tribulations His pastors go through. He knows how exhausting this time of year can be. It's exhausting throughout the year, but when we get to the important times of the year, Christmas and Easter, the exhaustion seems insurmountable at times.
But you don't have to overcome these by yourself. You won't be able to do it. Not by yourself. It's being grounded in God's Word that helps you overcome the exhaustion. Helps you get through these exciting yet stressful times. Not only for yourselves but for your people. No doubt each of us has at least one family dealing with the first Christmas without a loved one. Whether by death, separation or divorce. And they look to you for guidance. A daunting task. Especially when you may be looking for the same answers as they.
Therefore God tells you not to base your confidence in yourself. But in Christ. You can be confident in your quest to endure these fast-paced seasons because you are in Christ. You can be confident in your ministry because you are in Christ. He has sent His Holy Spirit into you. To kindle faith. To establish encouragement. To live as His minister in His Church.
Christ makes you sufficient. Whenever you move away from Him, you see how insufficient you are for the task at hand. But the same Lord who called you to be a minister in His Church makes you sufficient for the task. You confess the divine nature of the call into the Office of the Holy Ministry for that simple purpose. He calls you to a certain place. He equips you with certain talents and abilities necessary in that place. Everything about the ministry is wrapped up in Him. He makes your ministry sufficient.
Confident in His sufficiency, you can work in His kingdom. Doing the deeds He has prepared for you. They are yours to accomplish. No one else can do them for you. God designed them especially for you. Especially for now.
His Spirit enlivens you to fulfill your ministry. He does this as you take the time daily for devotions and study in His Word. As you receive His body and blood. As you hear the Word of Absolution pronounced over you. Not just coming from your mouth. Coming into your ears and settling in your heart. Where His Word and Spirit belong.
You can be confident in Christ's sufficiency because He has done everything for you. Not only for your call into the ministry. For your salvation as the basis for your ministry. You can survive these times because He is your life. His life, death and resurrection are sufficient to bring you through every trial and struggle. Every unanswerable question. Every one of the devil's deadly onslaughts. Because His Spirit gives you life. Life that overcomes the power of death. Amen.