Second Week in Epiphany – Saturday
Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth. – Luke 15:7.
A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father: “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” And he divided unto them his living.
And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself unto a citizen of that country; and he sent him into the fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said: “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.’”
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” But the father said to his servant: “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to be merry (Luke 15:11-24).
It was the Savior Himself who said. “Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents.” Repentance in your heart and life brings much joy to God and also to the holy “angels” (v. 10). “Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Why? The answer: “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
To our merciful God in Christ Jesus be all praise, thanks, glory, honor, and worship now in your earthly life and forevermore in heaven!
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, when I sin and fall short in my love for Thee and for my fellow human beings; through Thy holy Law work shame in me over my failings, and comfort me with Thy merciful lovingkindness for the sake of Thy perfect redemption for my sins and for the sins of all sinners, which brought about God’s free justification of all sinners, that priceless justification received and enjoyed solely by faith in Thee. These are my sincere requests, O precious Savior. Amen.
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness; my beauty are, my glorious dress;
midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed; with joy shall I lift up my head.
Bold shall I stand in that great Day; for who aught to my charge shall lay?
Fully thro’ these absolved I am, from sin and fear, from guilt and shame.
Jesus, be endless praise to Thee; whose boundless mercy hath for me;
for me, and all Thy hands have made, an everlasting ransom paid.
Hymn 371, stanzas 1-2 and 7 (TLH)