Fifth Sunday after Easter – Sunday
Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. – Philippians 3:20-21.
The whole life, all the imaginations, all the thoughts and aspirations, the wishes and desires, and the entire conversation [the entire way of life] of those pitiable people who neither know nor want to know Jesus and His Word, is determined by this perishable earth and — by sin. It is quite different, however, with such of us as are true Christians, who by faith know Christ and His Word. Our whole life, our imaginations, our thoughts and aspirations, wishes and desires, and our conversation, are in heaven; all is ruled and determined by that which is in heaven, where we have obtained citizenship through our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is not saying that our conversation [our way of life] is perfect. Ah, no; the old sin still clings to us and makes us sluggish and earthly-minded. Yet, as long as we remain in the one, holy Christian Church by a true faith in the only Savior for sinners, this sin is daily and richly forgiven. This truth ever and again asserts itself: our conversation is in heaven. How could it be otherwise? For from thence, from heaven, we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will come and change our vile body, which has been degraded and humiliated through sin, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body. As He Himself was resurrected in glory on the third day, so we shall be resurrected in glory on the Last Day.
Surely our Lord will do this for us; He will do this according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself; He will do this by His unlimited divine power. This, then, is our hope, our aim, the blessed end of our earthly conversation [our earthly way of life]: the resurrection from the dead, the transfiguration of our body, eternal and blissful life in heaven. Shall not our conversation be in heaven, directed toward heaven, and determined by our hope of heaven? Most certainly!
PRAYER – O my God, what mercies hast Thou shown to me through Jesus Christ, my dear Savior! Thou hast made me, a poor sinner, a citizen of heaven. And Thou, dear Lord Jesus, will come and raise me up from the grave, and will change my poor, humble body that it may be fashioned like unto Thy glorious body, and will give me the eternal bliss of heaven. O God, the Holy Ghost, gracious Lord, who works all good things within me, give me more and more a heavenly mind, and keep directing my course toward heaven. Amen.
Far off I see my Fatherland, where thro’ Thy blood I hope to stand;
but ere I reach that Paradise, a weary way before me lies.
My heart sinks at the journey’s length; my wasted flesh has little strength;
my soul alone still cries in me: “Lord, take me home, take me to Thee!”
Renew this wasted flesh of mine, that like the sun it there may shine;
among the angels pure and bright; yea, like Thyself in glorious light.
(Hymn 148, st. 2, 3, 10; TLH)