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ASL Reflection

Tuesday of the Twenty-First Week after Trinity

November 3, 2020 • Pastor Mark Buetow

Today's Reading: Ephesians 6:10-17 Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 23:21-40; Matthew 25:31-46 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17) In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If there is a theme to this week's Reflections, it must be the Word of God. The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. Spiritus Gladius. That's Latin for "Sword of the Spirit." Why is the Word the Sword of the Spirit? The gladius was the standard Roman Army short sword. It was used for close-in fighting. It was best when used to get in close to the enemy and shove it up under his ribs. It was a deadly weapon. Your enemies are the devil, the world, and your sinful nature. They fight dirty. They fight to kill. But the Spirit fights back. And He fights with the Word of God which pierces and defeats those enemies. That's because the Word is the Word of Absolution. The Word that preaches Jesus. That Word that IS Jesus, the Son of God, the Word-made-flesh. He is the Word that slays the sinful flesh, strikes down the power of the world, and brings crashing to nothing the kingdom of Satan. Your weapon against your enemies isn't your own strength. It's not your willpower and determination. It's not your attempt to try to behave and live a good life. The only thing that will defeat your enemies is the Sword of the Spirit. The Word of Baptism, Absolution, and the Supper; the Word of preaching that delivers Christ and Him crucified for sinners--that Word is the Sword of the Spirit. It is an offensive weapon by which the Spirit takes down your enemies. For where that Word is, sin and death must yield, the devil must relinquish his claim on you, and the world cannot accuse you. The Word does what it says. It speaks forgiveness and faith. It rescues from death and the devil. It is the Spiritus Gladius by which the Holy Spirit fights back and defeats all your enemies. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Thy strong Word did cleave the darkness; At Thy speaking it was done. For created light we thank Thee, While Thine ordered seasons run. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light does send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end! ("Thy Strong Word" LSB 578, st. 1)