Memorial Moments – Devotion of the Week by BJS

There are many devotional sources around the web that will deliver to your inbox a new short piece to help you in your daily or weekly devotionals, or just get your day started in the right frame of mind. We at BJS use several of these ourselves, and wanted to bring some of them to your attention. We will be posting a devotional from different sources we are aware of. If you receive or know of a good Lutheran devotion, please contact us and we’ll look at it and make it available to our readership.

The Memorial Moment is a devotion written every weekday by Pastor Scott Murray of Memorial Lutheran Church and School, Houston Texas. It includes a quotation from a church father, Pastor Murray’s ruminations on that text, a related Bible text, and a prayer. It is read all over world by more than a thousand subscribers. It will arrive in your email every morning to start your day off right. Click here to subscribe.

Below is today’s Memorial Moment:

Smashed Reign of Death
Wednesday in Easter 3
29 April 2009

The incarnation inseparably joins our nature with the divine nature in Christ. God becomes man. The joining of our nature with the divine has permanent results for us humans. The Life is united with us. Death and sin have their provisional reign ended by His purity and His indestructible life. Even though it seems that the vice grip of sin is the vice of ever lingering death, He smashes their reign by taking them into Himself.

Our enemy would prefer us to think that the edenic disaster is permanent and irreversible. If it would be left up to us, he would be right. But it is not up to us. We have a God who takes our nature upon Himself to undo Eden’s death. He remakes life in Himself. He opens again the doors to paradise (Lk 24:43), by plunging the flaming sword into His own chest from which extinguishing water gushes forth life in superabundance. This changes the whole world, by defeating death, slaying sin, and vanquishing vice. Alleluia.

1 John 4:1-6

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (ESV)

Hilary of Poitiers

For our sake Jesus Christ, retaining all these attributes [of His different natures], and being born man in our body, spoke after the fashion of our nature without concealing that divinity belonged to His own nature. In His birth, His passion, and His death, He passed through all the circumstances of our nature, but He bore them all by His own power. He was Himself the cause of His birth, He willed to suffer what He could not suffer, He died though He lives forever. Yet God did all this not merely through man, for He was born of Himself, He suffered of His own free will, and died of Himself. He did it also as man, for He was really born, suffered and died. These were the mysteries of the secret counsels of heaven, determined before the world was made.

The Only-begotten God was to become man of His own will, and man was to abide eternally in God. God was to suffer of His own will, that the malice of the devil, working in the weakness of human infirmity, might not confirm the law of sin in us, since God had assumed our weakness. God was to die of His own will, that no power, after the immortal God had constrained Himself within the law of death, might raise up its head against Him, or put forth the natural strength which He had created in it. Thus God was born to take us into Himself, suffered to justify us, and died to avenge us. For our manhood abides forever in Him, the weakness of our infirmity is united with His strength, and the spiritual powers of iniquity and wickedness are subdued in the triumph of our flesh, since God died through the flesh.

Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity, 9.7

Lord Christ, in Your incarnation You remade all things. Help us to be at peace in the gifts won by this great mystery. Give us such joy that we cannot remain silent, but must speak of Your work to a world living in darkness and the shadow of death.

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