Now I know that the Lord gives victory to the anointed one; God will answer out of holy heaven, gaining victory with a strong right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we rely on the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:6-7, ELW)
Martin Luther’s Explanation of the First Commandment rings true in every season: “A ‘god’ is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. Therefore, to have a god is nothing less than to trust and believe in that one with your whole heart.”
As we approach the beginning of another new year, with all the introspection and hope that comes with it, it seems good to ponder this definition of a “god”, and to reflect on where we will place our trust and confidence over the next 365 days. Jesus Christ – God’s word incarnate – came to our world to assure us that God knows beyond a doubt the struggle of our human existence. In every trial and challenge that might come in 2017, may we who bear the name of Christ live fully in the knowledge of God’s love for us, of Christ’s presence with us, and of the Spirit’s power within us, so that we place our trust not in ourselves, but in the Triune God who dwells among us.
Eternal God, you have placed us in a world of space and time, and through the events of our lives you bless us with your love. Grant that in the new year we may know your presence, see your love at work, and live in the light of the event that gives us joy forever—the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (ELW, p. 63)
– Pastor Andrew Chavanak, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA), Falls City