Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent Devotional - March 3, 2023

Hymn: “Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing” (LSB #421, v. 4)

Ev’ry wound that pains or grieves me
By Your wounds, Lord, is made whole;
When I’m faint, Your cross revives me,
Granting new life to my soul.
Yes, Your comfort renders sweet
Ev’ry bitter cup I meet;
For Your all-atoning passion
Has procured my soul’s salvation.
The cost that we might pay for the right way and not the easy way should not be scoffed at. I do not consider what you suffer to be small and little, nor does Jesus. For tension to exist in your homes and among family hurts. As a congregation to remain faithful and preach the Word in the face of the threats of the world will cause a lot of suffering and shame from a worldly standard. The exhortation to follow the narrow road to Jesus and not the world’s easy and broad way is not done thinking that what we suffer is nothing to God. God grieves too.  

But we should always stop and wonder this when we suffer in any form: Are we afraid that Jesus’ salvation will not be enough to make me whole?
Johann Heermann suffered the loss of his possessions, the loss of his voice, sickness and infections that cost him his calling as a pastor. He lived through years of war and pain. And yet these words point us from one sufferer to another, the place where we go in order to be made whole. He saw in Jesus the ability to be healed.

“Every wound that pains or grieves me, by Your wounds, Lord, is made whole.” By His stripes we are healed is being echoed here from Isaiah. Each time Christ was wounded, we became more whole. When we are made faint and weary and laden with sin, the cross of Jesus comes and lightens the load. All that we lose shall be restored because of Jesus.
Look around you at church. Here is the true family that you belong to. When Jesus’ mother and brothers came to get him and take him away, Jesus looked around at his disciples and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers? It is they who hear the Word of God and keep it.” The body of Christ, the Church of God, you my dear brothers and sisters in Jesus, are not a surrogate family, but my true family. You are what flesh and blood can only pretend to be. Jesus on the cross looked at His mother and John and said, “Mother, behold your son.” And then, “Behold, your mother.” Jesus gives us something new and better.

The cross of Jesus gives to us something better than we could ever find on our own. Yes, His comfort renders sweet every bitter cup I drink. For in the bitterness and gall I find Jesus. And it is in Christ’s sufferings that have procured my own salvation.
Do not be afraid of your sufferings and whatever on this earth that you lose. Jesus is able and willing to give you something more.
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