Sunday, January 30, 2011

Epiphany 4

Disappointingly, we had no sermon for Epiphany 3, due to a capital campaign starting.

Today's readings were Micah 6:1-8 (sermon text), 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and Matthew 5:1-12.

God brings charges against His people, as Micah records. Not such a "minor" prophet after all! God's witnesses: mountains and foundations of the earth - polar opposites yet both solid. His people - today, us. We are being accused. The charges: we have abandoned our merciful and loving God; we have become bored and wearied with Him and true worship. "Answer Me." We are unable, utterly embarrassed at His veracity, our guilt.

God recounts His history of deliverance, His heart. It culminated in Jesus, the Crucified and Resurrected Lord. The evidence confirms His lovingkindness.

We say, frustrated, Shall we be able to ransom ourselves, even with our firstborn? No! God does not tell us to give offerings like that; He wants us to give Him our whole heart. A cheerful and contrite heart makes any offering acceptable to Him. Sacrifice yourself. Act justly, love mercy, and walk in humility with your God. He is our example; we have been shown. Translation for today - treat others fairly; fight for the life of the defenseless; do not be arrogant, for your deeds do not save you. God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

The verdict: we are guilty. The sentence: Christ died for and lives in us!

Soli Deo gloria.

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