February 10th, 2019

Read: LUKE 5:1-11 & PSALM 138

Fifth Sunday After The Epiphany

"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." (LUKE 5:8)

DREAD

At first glance, Peter's reaction seems strange. Jesus had just worked for him a great miracle. He had provided a huge catch of fish, after Peter himself had fished all night and caught nothing. But Peter reacted to the miracle, not with a smile, but with a look of dreadful terror.

Why? Because the presence of God is dangerous. God is all-consuming fire. His holiness threatens to destroy anything unholy. When the holy God comes into contact with unholy sinners, the most common biblical reaction is dread. Peter, as he witnessed Jesus' great miracle, realized he was standing in the presence of his holy God. Owning his sin, he wanted Jesus out of the boat: "Depart from me."

Thankfully, Jesus didn't depart. He patiently persisted with Peter. His response, "Do not be afraid," was an absolution. Jesus forgave Peter his sins and allowed him to receive Him without dread.

The Lord Jesus caught us up in His net and brought us into the boat of His Church at our Baptism. He keeps us in His Church by Holy Absolution, by which He makes us fit partakers of His Holy Supper. By His absolution, Jesus enables us to receive Him, but in faith and joy.

"Father, forgive my sins for Jesus' sake.Amen!

Highland Park Lutheran Church (LCMC)

147 East Euclid Avenue

Des Moines, Iowa 50313-4577

Office Phone: 515-244-6517

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