Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pentecost 6

Readings: Psalm 91; Jeremiah 20:7-13; Romans 6:12-23 (sermon text); and Matthew 10:5a, 21-33.
We change in Christ, but not for the worse. Now (v. 19), we present our bodies "as slaves to righteousness." But not because we decide to do X and Y for the Lord! No; instead, righteous acts flow from our imputed grace, faith, and righteousness. Therefore, since we (our old selves) have been slain by Baptism and we (our new selves) have life in Christ Jesus, we may act as bondservants of God.

Verse 23 - wages vs. gift. We earn death by sin, but receive (entirely passively on our part) God's gift of life. We hate the things of death and Satan, but we love the things of life and God - drown yourself in His Word, find joy in service to God and our neighbor, enjoy being His child and bondservant. Become Christ to each other, Jesus with skin on. It may be self-sacrificial, but it is part of our service to God. Count it all joy (not "happiness" - selfward and subjective - but "joy" - Godward and objective).

We together are the body of Christ. Together we serve, rejoicing in our gift from the God of life.
Next week I hope to post whatever notes the members and chaperones of my church's youth group have taken at the Higher Things conference.


Elephantschild said...

*sigh* Thank goodness for those readings. Fill-in pastor today at our church (we're in vacancy) and it was... well... the best I can say is that it wasn't a Lutheran sermon.

At all.

Hannah said...

EC, I vicariously feel for you. One of our pastors went with one of our elders a few months back to Willowcreek (?) to see what their sermons were really like. The text was Romans 7. The preacher did not ONCE mention the word 'sin.'

Now THAT'S skilled speaking, to not talk about something that's there!