Devotions: June

The thematic emphasis in the month of June concerns how God reveals Himself. God reveals Himself as the Creator in nature, in the history of Israel, in His Son, and in the time of the church (Catechism 1.1.1–1.1.4). The culmination of these historical self-revelations of God is His incarnation in Jesus Christ.

The self-revelation of God also incorporates the fact that Jesus clearly reveals Himself as God, the Son. In John, on which the divine services in June are based, Jesus uses various images to bring His divine nature to expression (Catechism 3.4.8.6 “Jesus’ parables and images”).

The first Sunday divine service calls upon us to labour for the food that does not perish. Human beings are to take continual direction from the will of God. This will of God can be directly experienced in Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Him and follow Him will enjoy this imperishable food.

The second Sunday divine service deals with Jesus as the light of the world. The foundation for this is one of the so-called “I am” sayings, in which Jesus unveils His divine nature. Light and life are important images that clearly reference salvation in Christ. That Jesus is life is already expressed at the start of John. There it speaks of the divine Word as follows: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1: 4). Light is one of the foundations for all created life. Beyond that, it also symbolises knowledge and truth. Those who follow Jesus will thus find certainty and orientation for their lives.

The third Sunday divine service likewise focuses on one of the “I am” sayings of the Lord. Here we are introduced to Jesus as the good shepherd, who gives His life for the sheep. The good shepherd is distinguished from other shepherds who only look out for their own interests. Jesus is the one who looks after His own and selflessly provides them with the care and help they need. This passage concerning the good shepherd is also a reference to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

The fourth Sunday divine service of the month bears the title, “Jesus, the door”, and thus also refers to one of the “I am” sayings of the Lord. The door is an image of access to salvation. The service thus centres on believing acceptance of the person of Jesus Christ, because it is only in Him that salvation can be found, and it is only through Him that full communion with the triune God is possible. This not only applies to the living but also to the dead. This service serves to prepare the way for the divine service for the departed. On the one hand, it discusses the need for salvation on the part of the departed, but on the other hand also explains that they too can receive God’s gifts of salvation—as present in the sacraments, for example. The divine service also endeavours to highlight the dangers that may prevent both the dead and the living from walking through the door, namely unbelief, self-righteousness, or insufficient humbleness. If a human being fails to attain salvation, it is never the fault of God (Revelation 3: 8), but rather that of the human being who fails to partake in salvation owing to the wrong attitude and corresponding actions.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s