I almost always focus primarily on the appointed Gospel for a given Sunday. I did not do that this time, although I do bring it in at the end. Here is an excerpt. Read the whole content here or here.
God’s answer to your selfishness, to your abuse of His gifts, to your constant desire for more than He has given was His Son, pierced and nailed to a tree. God’s answer to your self-seeking, your lying, your cheating, your disobedience to authority and to the sins that you just can’t seem to resist was Jesus, risen from the dead, ascended to the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
It was and it still is God’s answer, His solution to your problem of sin, His medicine for your diseased souls. “Come to me,” Christ says, “all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Come to me, and find refuge from your guilt and shame, from your tired and weary hearts battling against the devil, and I will refresh you, I will strengthen you.
And like those who followed Christ out in the wilderness, we too heed his invitation. We come to Church. We kneel at the altar for Holy Communion. He multiplies not loaves of bread, but His own Body and Blood for us Christians to eat and to drink. We bring our children to the baptismal font, because of Christ’s command and promise: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for of such is the kingdom of God.”
And having received everything that Christ has to give in abundance, having received in our ears the very Word of God, our spiritual food, having received in our mouths the very flesh and blood of Jesus, crucified and risen, we are satisfied, filled, content. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Only Christ and His salvation can quell the never-ceasing hunger of our souls. Only Christ and His atoning death and resurrection can quench the fires of lust, and the thirst of our souls for righteousness.
See what a kind and compassionate Savior we have, how much he loves us and cares for us. Rather than let His creatures be lost to the devil forever, He saves them. Rather than let us go hungry He feeds us. Rather than let us fall into despair for our shame and guilt, He absolves us. He looks at us and remembers that we are dust. He has pity on us like a Father pities his children. And as surely as God promised Adam: “On the day that you eat of it, you will surely die,” so He promises His dearly beloved children, baptized in His name: “On the day that you eat of Him, that is, of Christ, you will surely live.” Amen.