Jesus Lives and Reigns
Easter Wednesday
19 April 2017
Easter is over, right?  Well, no. The church exists under the care of a resurrected Lord and Savior every day. He who has the power of an immortal life is King and He alone reigns over His kingdom and faith.  This may be obvious to you, as a Christian.  But increasingly this view that Christ is head of the church, that He gives her her faith, and that she believes what He teaches is denied in our culture and also by many who call themselves Christian.
 
The Wall Street Journal (15 Aril 2013) ran a lengthy article about South Carolina Episcopalians, who are in a major court battle with their national judicatory, the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA), to retain the title to their church property in South Carolina. This battle ensued when South Carolina Episcopalians left the Episcopal Church USA because the national church body contended that the Bible's teaching on human sexuality no longer applies. Like the Supreme Court, the ECUSA has approved same-sex unions. Unfortunately, for the ECUSA, God is not bound nor even swayed by the U.S. Supreme Court. What the Bible has to say about sexuality is no longer accepted, even by so-called "churches." In such a usage, the Bible has become a "waxen nose" able to be twisted this way and that by every wind of doctrine and every human whim.
 
For many, perhaps even most people, "man is the measure of all things," even God.  All forms of external authority, whether church, parents, or government are under attack.  But it all begins with God.  When we believe just whatever we want, the resurrected Lord is no longer Lord of the church, his kingdom.  In fact, when we believe whatever we want, there is no church.  Martin Luther recognized that our gracious Lord lives and reigns over his church forever for our sakes by the gospel. He gives His kingdom to us in the proclamation of the gospel.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther
 
"You have heard that after His sufferings and death Christ our Lord rose from the dead and entered upon, and was enthroned in, an immortal existence. Not that He might sit up there in heaven idly and find pleasure in Himself but that He might take charge of the kingdom of which the prophets and all the Scriptures have spoken so fully, and might rule as a king. Therefore, we should think of Him as being present and reigning among us continually, and never think of Him sitting up there doing nothing but rather that He from above fills and rules all things, as Paul says to the Ephesians (Eph 4:10), and especially that He is taking care of His kingdom, which is the Christian faith, and that therefore His kingdom among us here on earth must prosper.  This kingdom is so constituted that we all must daily increase and grow in holiness, and it is not governed by any other power save the oral proclamation of the gospel."

Martin Luther, Sermon
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 

And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.(ESV)
Prayer
Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

For Cantor Janet Muth, who has a call to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Columbus, Indiana, that the Lord of the church would grant her wisdom as she calls on the name of the Lord

For Michael Staub, who has declined his call to Lutheran High South in St. Louis, that the Lord would grant peace and give wisdom to the high school association as they seek a teacher

For Joanna Karner, who is suffering from chronic disease, that the Lord would grant her strength and courage to face the days ahead under the cross
 
For campus ministry all over the country, that campus chaplains might faithfully offer the Christian alternative to the desiccated and immoral materialism of the university campus
 
For all those who do not know that death's tyranny is over because of the resurrection of Christ, that they might be set free by the preaching of the Word of God
 
For the people of Syria, that God our heavenly Father would give them peace and safety and that they would not lose courage in the face of attacks from those who would destroy the peace
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias  Resurrection (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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