Eighth Sunday after Trinity – Sunday
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities. —Psalm 103:2‒3.
Christendom, the one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, God’s chosen people, those who through true faith in Jesus Christ have become His dear children, this Christendom, and each and every member of it, possesses something daily in rich abundance that is better than anything there is, and which cannot be procured or purchased with any deed man may do, or any treasure in the world.
That priceless treasure is the forgiveness of sins. Dr. Luther says in his Small Catechism: “In which Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all sins to me and all believers.” Thanks to the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost, working through the Gospel, every Christian may say from his heart these words, these words of praise and rejoicing: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities.” Truly, this forgiveness of sins is better than all the treasures offered by the world. If God would not forgive us our sins, we would certainly all be lost. If but one single sin were not forgiven us by God, we would, likewise, all be lost. But God forgives us, us Christians, all our sins, and He does this daily and richly.
Daily He takes us to His fatherly bosom and forgives us all our sins in an overabundance of grace. And hence we also have life and salvation. “For,” as Luther correctly states, “where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.” Since we have received forgiveness of sins, yes, because our sins are forgiven every day, every curse and every punishment is far removed from us. We may, therefore, rest blissfully and peacefully in the bosom of God as we await eternal life, which He will surely give us. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities.” This is most certainly true.
PRAYER – O Thou gracious God and Father, how shall I properly thank and praise Thee? That is more than I can do. But, O Lord, I rejoice that by Thy Word and Holy Spirit, working through that Word, Thou hast made me a member of the Holy Christian Church, the Communion of Saints, in which Thou dost daily and richly forgive all sins for Christ’s sake. Now I, a poor sinner, have peace with Thee and shall most certainly be saved. Abba, Father, let me at all times, and wherever I may be, remain a member of Thy Church through faith in Christ. Amen.
Thy love and grace alone avail,
to blot out my transgression.
The best and holiest deeds must fail,
to break sin’s dread oppression.
Before Thee none can boasting stand,
but all must fear Thy strict demand,
and live alone by mercy.
(Hymn 329, st. 2; TLH)