[The LORD declares]: So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
As an older kid, I used to love thunderstorms. That all changed when a storm tried to knock down our new house in Wisconsin that we had just bought and moved into the month before. (I wrote about this in a devotion called Natural and Special Revelation, which you can read here.)
Now, even though I don’t particularly like thunderstorms, I do love it when it rains (until it starts to flood the place, that is).
Snow, on the other hand, I love all the time. As far as I’m concerned, it can snow moderately from the first week of November to the middle of February (at which time it would be great if God would make it warm up and dry the ground out so that we can start baseball in March).
Too much rain and too much snow are a problem, of course. They cause flooding and damage.
But God has made this world in such a way that when there is just enough snow in the winter and rain in the spring and summer, crops and other vegetation grow in all their beauty and bounty.
That’s the glorious beauty of this creation and God’s amazing love and power! Rain and snow come and just that simple water molecule makes crops grow and people can eat and live and thrive.
This is also a picture of God’s Holy Word. Right before our very eyes, whenever it snows or rains, we can see that God’s Word also accomplishes what God intends and purposes – the salvation of our souls.
As Martin Luther said:
“Rain and snow are not useless, but they water the earth, giving seed to the sower. The rain can achieve everything for the earth …. When we experience the absence of rain, we see what the earth produces. So He takes away the glory of the earth and shows that it is not the earth that does it but that it is accomplished by the rain. So our building and promotion of the church is not a result of our works but of the Word of God which we preach” Luther’s Works, American Edition, Vol. 17 quoted from The Lutheran Study Bible, copyright © 2009 by Concordia Publishing House, p 1181).
God’s Word is incredible and complex. It can do so much! It is the Holy Spirit’s Means of Grace. When joined to simple water, it because a life-giving Baptism that creates faith and forgives sin. When joined to bread and wine, it gives Christians the very body and blood of Jesus Christ that, when eaten and drank, forgives sins, gives life and salvation.
God’s Word is the way we carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. We use God’s Word to make disciples and teach what Christ has done and commanded us to do.
This is why having God’s Word saturate the Christian Church’s worship and life is so important and powerful!
From the hymns that are based on God’s Word (some God’s Word literally set to music) to the Scripture readings and responsive Psalmody, to the sermon and sacraments, God’s Word soaks through the worship service and immerses the participant in God himself.
Like rain and snow bring forth the fruit of the earth, so God’s Word will bring forth and strengthen Christian men and women of all ages.
Lord God, heavenly Father, I pray that your Word will continue to accomplish your purposes among us and around the world, namely to forgive sin and bring people into everlasting life. Teach me to hold your Word sacred and gladly hear and learn it; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
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