Our devotional reading for the commemoration of Lucia is taken from A Year in the New Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, focusing on Revelation 1.
God will never abandon those who have been redeemed by His Son’s blood. Today’s devotional reading reminds us of God’s faithfulness to the Church throughout all time. He was faithful to the Early Church despite her sins. He is faithful to Christian martyrs—like Lucia—even unto death. And He will be faithful to you and your congregation too. No matter what struggles or persecutions come your way, the victory has already been won in Christ.
One of the victims of the great persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Diocletian, Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in AD 304. Known for her charity, “Santa Lucia” (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means “light,” and, because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight. In artistic expression, she is often portrayed in a white baptismal gown, wearing a wreath of candles on her head.
The seven churches to which the Book of Revelation is addressed were facing intense persecution. The apostle John was himself exiled on the island of Patmos for confessing Christ. These struggling congregations, many of them small, were all facing tremendous hardships. . . .
Whether the first century or the twenty-first century, it’s easy for God’s people to become discouraged. Our enemies are great, and we appear to be weak and small. When we observe our world, we may even wonder if Jesus still cares for us and for His Church. We wonder if He has abandoned His people.
In Revelation 1:19–20, Jesus identifies the seven stars that He is holding in His right hand and the seven lampstands that surround Him. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches addressed in Revelation. Has Jesus abandoned His people? Does He no longer care for His Church? Are the forces of evil going to triumph over Christ’s Church? The answer to all these questions is a resounding no. Jesus stands in the midst of the churches. He is truly present among them. He sends His angels to guard and protect the churches. Think of your own church—St. Paul, Zion, Faith, Peace, Christ; Jesus is in the midst of your congregation. He holds it in His right hand. He cares for your congregation. He is deeply concerned about you and those who worship with you. He is not far removed from your congregation; He is present as you gather in His name.
O Almighty God, by whose grace and power Your holy martyr Lucia triumphed over suffering and remained ever faithful unto death, grant us, who now remember her with thanksgiving, to be so true in our witness to You in this world that we may receive, with her, new eyes without tears and the crown of light and life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Devotional reading, prayer, and biography are taken from A Year in the New Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year, page 366 © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.