August 2019 Letter

The Last Prophet

 

August 29th commemorates the end of John the Baptist’s life at the hands of the tetrarch Herod Antipas (Mark 6:14-29). From the perspective of the world, it was an ignominious end to John the Baptist’s prophetic ministry. Yet it was in fact a noble participation in the cross of Christ, which was John’s greatest glory of all. Jesus Himself said that there had arisen none greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).

 

John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and also the herald of the New Testament. As the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John fulfilled the prophecy that the great prophet Elijah would return before the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:10-13). By his preaching and Baptism of repentance, John “turned the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6). And in the footsteps of the prophets who had gone before him—in anticipation of the Christ whose way he prepared—this servant of the Lord manifested the cross by the witness of his death.

 

Almighty God, You gave Your servant John the Baptist to be the forerunner of Your Son, Jesus Christ, in both his preaching of repentance and his innocent death. Grant that we, who have died and risen with Christ in Holy Baptism, may daily repent of our sins, patiently suffer for the sake of the truth, and fearlessly bear witness to His victory over death; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

August Blessings!

 

Pastor David A. Feddern