Reading: 1 Peter 2:13–17
St. Peter calls us to submit to the authorities because they are sent from God “to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good” (v. 14). As citizens it is our duty to submit to our leaders. We are to pray for our elected officials that the Lord would guide them and strengthen them to make laws that are in conformity to God’s Word. In this election year, let us be ever mindful that, whoever is our president, we will pray for him and submit to him. Now, if the president or any of our elected officials make laws that are not in conformity with God’s Word, then we are to obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).
Then, St. Peter says that we are to “live as people who are free” (v. 16). When did we become free? We became free when Christ died on the cross. Christ’s death was the only sacrifice that was not of a broken spirit. In Baptism we have the sign of the cross placed on our head and heart, marking us as one redeemed by Christ the crucified. Our life is given cruciform shape. We are free!
O Lord, You have instituted all government for the good of Your children. Bless all who hold public office in our land, that they would seek to do Your will. Keep us under the shadow of the cross of Your Son, Jesus Christ, that our life would be shaped by it in service to You and our neighbor; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Thou hast suffered men to bruise Thee,
That from pain I might be free;
Falsely did Thy foes accuse Thee:
Thence I gain security;
Comfortless Thy soul did languish
Me to comfort in my anguish.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
Dearest Jesus, unto Thee. (LSB 420:5)
Joshua Benish (Sem I, CTSFW)