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“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” This is Jesus’ prayer for all believers of all time. To “sanctify” is to set aside for God’s purposes. Christians are so “set aside” that Jesus says, “The world hated them because they are not of the world.”

So it is that the hope of believers is not in this world, that the next election or the next job opportunity or the next lottery ticket is going to give us joy. The love of believers for others is not conditioned on “what have they done for me,” but on the worth and value that Christ places on every person. The joy of believers is not found in one day’s experience, but in the transcendent beauty, comfort, virtue, wonder, and delight of eternity.

It is the truth of God’s word that brings us out of the petty ambitions of the moment into the eternal joys that are out of this world.

Sermon for the Reformation Sunday, November 1, 2020, Pastor Edward Bryant. Faith & Our Savior Lutheran Churches, Medford & Grants Pass, Oregon.