Collect of the Week
Almighty God, You have built Your Church on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Continue to send Your messengers to preserve Your people in true peace that, by the preaching of Your Word, Your Church may be kept free from all harm and danger; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Isaiah 66:10-14 (Last Sunday’s Old Testament Reading)
10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; 11 that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious abundance."1
12 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse, you shall be carried upon her hip, and bounced upon her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies.
In the name of + Jesus.
If an infant child doesn’t nurse that infant child will not survive. Of course, there is now synthetic formula to give nourishment to infants whose mothers are unable to nurse them, and we are thankful for that. But nevertheless, an infant child that doesn’t receive the nourishment that it needs, will not survive. It will starve, and it will die.
Most of us don’t often think of ourselves as needy little infants. We’re taught to be self-sufficient, to work hard and accomplish much. The pressure to produce is so strong that we often times forget that, no matter how many year we live, and no matter how accomplished we become professionally, and no matter how many children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren we have the pleasure of having, we never stop being completely dependent on the nourishment that comes from the LORD. We’re all like infant!
And like an infant, who knows the voice, the smell, and even the taste of his or her mother, and who oftentimes will refuse to receive nourishment from anyone else (trust me, Abi doesn’t like taking a bottle from me!), we are not to look for any lasting nourishment to come from anyone other than the Lord, who gives it through His Word. Just as a child’s mother meets his or her needs, so our heavenly Father meets our needs of provision and pardon. He gives daily bread. And even more, through the preaching of His Son, He sends the Holy Spirit to give and strengthen saving faith so that we might grow up and live in Him.
In Isaiah, Jerusalem acted like a mother for God’s people, for from her the people were nourished on the Words of promises of the LORD. Today, some have referred to the Church as our mother, in much the same way. As those who depend completely on the Word and Promise of God in Christ for our pardon and peace, it is the Church where we find this nourishment, and feed on the Gospel given in Word and Sacrament. It is in the Church where we are comforted, and there our heart rejoices as we learn to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us never become too old to be infants in need of the nourishment of our Lord. In the name of + Jesus. Amen.
Gracious Lord, by Your Son, Jesus Christ, You delivered us from destruction. In Holy Baptism, You caused us to be born again. Carry us a bless us with the comfort and peace that only You can give. Amen (TLSB, p. 1200).