To destroy the works of the devil…

Looking forward to the 1st Sunday in Lent: “Invocavit”, which gives us the purpose of our Lord´s going up to Jerusalem, suffering and dying on the cross:

For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.

1.John 3,8b

This serious theme is introduced in the Introit for this Sunday and emphasized by its various lessons:

As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the Most High, and resides in the protective shadow of the Sovereign One – I say this about the Lord, my shelter and my stronghold, my God in whom I trust – he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter and from the destructive plague.
He will shelter you with his wings; you will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall. You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in the darkness, or the disease that ravages at noon. Though a thousand may fall beside you, and a multitude on your right side, it will not reach you. Certainly you will see it with your very own eyes – you will see the wicked paid back.
For you have taken refuge in the Lord, my shelter, the Most High. No harm will overtake you; no illness will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you in all you do. They will lift you up in their hands, so you will not slip and fall on a stone. You will subdue a lion and a snake; you will trample underfoot a young lion and a serpent.
The Lord says, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me. When he calls out to me, I will answer him.I will be with him when he is in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him honor. I will satisfy him with long life, and will let him see my salvation.

Psalm 91

The Sermon outline goes like this: The Lenten season is one of temptation, struggle and warfare, but thanks be to the triune God – the deed is done and Jesus has conquered. His victory is ours. Amen.

  • That conflict starts in paradise (Gn.3)
  • Continues in the desert – in isolation and quaratine (Mt.4)
  • Goes on in community, even the most holy circles (Joh.13,21-30)
  • It was decided in Jesus favor on Golgotha. He is the only victor + (Hebrews 4)
  • Thanks to Him we are free to live in the light of Easter and anticipation of His return in glory!

Thus encouraged by God´s victory and mighty promises, we sing with the Christian Church:

Though devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us, We tremble not, we fear no ill, They shall not overpow’r us. This world’s prince may still Scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, He’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him.

Martin Luther 1528

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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