Today's Reading: Introit for the Second Sunday in Advent (Psalm 25:4–5, 21–22; antiphon: v.25:1–3a)
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 10:12-27, 33-34; 2 Peter 1:1-21
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. (From the Introit for the Second Sunday in Advent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you are out walking in the woods, you want to find a clear path. Without a path, the way can be treacherous. Branches, brambles, and loose stones cause you to stumble and will impede your progress. Tripping and sliding with every step, you are in real danger of twisting an ankle or breaking a leg. After a while, you grow weary of all the work. Then you become discouraged, and in the end, you wonder if it is really worth the effort.
However, if you are walking through the woods on a deer trail or a man-made path, the going is much easier. A path that has been traveled over and over is smoother. The branches are pushed back, and loose stones are not in the road. As a young boy, King David was a shepherd, so he knew the importance of a good path in the wilderness of this world. In the psalms, David tells us that there is one path that will lead us out of every trouble.
The path that we need to follow is the path of the Lord. Only God can teach us His path. In the pages of Holy Scripture, we have a path that leads us through the wilderness of this land. On this path there is truth, life, and salvation. By following this path, we walk through the valley of the shadow of death and into the true light of heaven. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, you have been brought to this path. All who believe in Christ and who have received by faith the sacrifice that He offered by His death on the Cross have received the salvation of the Lord. Because of Jesus we will never be put to shame, for He leads us into the way of His truth and onto the path of life everlasting.
David asks that the Lord would make known to him His ways and to teach him His paths. We also need to make this request each day to the Lord. God promises to lead us on His path, and this path can be found in the pages of Holy Scripture and in church where we hear and receive all the Gifts God has for us. In the preaching, in Absolution, and in the Lord's Supper, we receive all that we need to support us as we walk on the path of God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Help us, dear Lord, to continue to walk on your path. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch