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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: October 30, 2023

When Adam fell into sin, his curse was that he would now have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. God created him to tend the garden and to put his hands into the dirt in peace, without struggle or suffering. But now thorns and thistles would come up, piercing the hands that he would plunge into the rebellious soil. Because of sin, man would have to labor like he needed to conquer the world, the same world he couldn’t conquer.

But then Christ arrived and won victory where sinful men could not win it. The Son of God took on human flesh and plunged His hands into the soil, plunged Himself in the cursed earth where He was pierced with thorns and nails. And through His perfect labor, through His perfect life, death, and resurrection, He ended the curse of Adam. He gave mankind the right to live with Him forever in His kingdom, to enter the new garden that can never be lost, and to rest from His labor forever.

And so, while laboring for Christ in this life may look like backbreaking, sweat-inducing labor to the unbeliever and the self-righteous, for those who trust in Christ, the labor of this life is now a blessing and the commandments are not burdensome to us. Once we were outside of His kingdom with no real work to do, no honor, no one to belong to. Once we were hopeless drifters living on cursed soil. But then Christ brought us into His kingdom and gave us honorable work to do. He gave us the blessed, joyful work of serving our neighbors, of forgiving as He has forgiven us, of raising our children to believe His word, of proclaiming His word to those outside the vineyard, telling them of the merciful Master who will still call them in.

One day we will rest from our labors. But until that day, we can rejoice in our labor because we know Jesus Christ has pulled the curse out of the soil and filled it with meaning and honor. Put your hands to the plow and don’t look back until our Lord gathers you into His presence and gives you salvation and eternal life, your promised reward.

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