Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pentecost 16

Today's readings, at yet another off-campus church, were 1 Kings 17:17-24, Ephesians 3:13-21, and Luke 14:1-11 (sermon text).

Today is the Lord's Day - unique, holy, set aside, a day of rest. It is also the weekly anniversary of the Lord's Resurrection. Today we celebrate His sacraments and receive His peace. Let your faith be strengthened today, living in this strengthened faith during the week ahead.

Going to church regularly requires self-sacrifice - but this yields lasting benefits. The Christian life is a striving to be like Christ, our Teacher. Sunday for Christians parallels the Jewish Sabbath, on which no customary work was done. On such a Sabbath, Jesus asked the Pharisees and teachers of the law whether it was lawful to heal or care for one's own on that day. "I desire mercy and not sacrifice" - Jesus Christ demonstrated this command especially on the Cross by having mercy on all of us.

The reading is not only a demonstration of mercy, but also a lesson in humility. Be humble that you may be exalted by the Highest, for prideful individuals will be shamed. Indeed, Jesus Christ humbled Himself to nothing - now He sits at the Father's right hand. Thus we learn about Him, our model.

Church is here for all - the hospital for sinners, with Jesus Christ as the Great Physician. Be humble; admit your sin. Live your life by faith in Christ, the God-Man, your Life. Kneel before Him in adoration, particularly on this holy day.
Soli Deo gloria.

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