This Is God's Kingdom

"Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
This Is God's Kingdom
Let us not think that heaven is closed, except to cows and pigs, that is, to creatures of the flesh. But where Christ is, there heaven stands open. We know that Christ baptizes, administers the Sacraments, and absolves, so that we Christians might have cause to live chaste and holy lives, for heaven is open, the Holy Trinity is all around us, the angels sing as they did on Christmas night, etc. But even if God abandons us and we suffer persecution, God is still with us, for this happens so that you might retain your faith that God is looking after you, whether you believe it or not. If you are a Christian, heaven and earth must pass away before anyone harms a hair of your head. "Who touches you, touches the apple of My eye" [Zechariah 2:8]. "Whoever receives you, receives Me" [Matthew 10:40]. But faith is required here. We do not see that Christ baptizes, the Father absolves, the Holy Spirit hovers above us, or that He is not only in heaven but also stands in the Jordan. But I say this to Christians, who must have this knowledge. This is God's kingdom where Christ rules inwardly, God speaks to us without ceasing, and the Holy Spirit hovers above us.

From Sermon for Epiphany 1 on Matthew 3:13-17 (Luther's Works 58:74)
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