January is my month to record these devotions. I thought I'd provide the transcripts here.
Here's the one from January 1:
In the name of Jesus our Savior, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church welcomes you to ‘Dial-a-Devotion’, this is Vicar Tom Schlund. Our text for today is from 1 Peter 1:22-25 which reads:
2 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you."
Happy New Year! 2013 is done and 2014 is here. The beginning of a new year can be exciting. There is much to look forward to. We may look forward to our new resolutions that we make to kick a bad habit or live in a more healthy way. We may look forward to new opportunities at work or within our families. Weddings or new babies may be on the horizon in 2014. These are all very exciting things and things that we can look forward to and be happy about.
However, the beginning of the New Year can be sad and cause us to be anxious. There are friends and family members who were with us at the beginning of 2013 who are no longer with us either because of death or because of broken relationships. 2013 may have seen health or financial problems sneak into your life. Maybe your legs don’t carry you like they once did or your lungs don’t breathe as deeply as they used to. Will there be healing and improvement in 2014 or will things just get worse.
We get anxious because we don’t know what is going to happen. Will the economy get better? Will there be more violence in schools? Will we find ourselves in times of war or times of peace? We just don’t know what is going to happen this year.
In our text today we hear that our flesh is like grass – it withers and falls – but there is one thing that we have that doesn’t fail – God’s word. Our text says that the word of the Lord endures forever. It is in this word that we hear about sinful condition and our need for a savior. In this word we hear God’s promise to send a savior to redeem us from our sins. In this word we hear about Jesus being born in Bethlehem and growing up to die on the cross and rise from the tomb and in this word we hear about Jesus’ promise to return on the last day and take all believers to be with him. We can trust God’s word because it never fails. No matter what happens during 2014 we can be assured that God will be with us. He will guard us and keep us and will take us to be with him when we die. We can count on it!