Saturday of the Third Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Judges 3:7-31; Acts 13:42-52

One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; he shall set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:405 from the Introit for Trinity 4)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We are creatures of desire. Most of our day-to-day activities are carried out somewhat short of conscious decision making. Think about how you brushed your teeth this morning. You really didn't weigh the pros and cons of the activity, and you certainly didn't sit down to plan the best and most effective way to brush. It's a habit. You just did it without really thinking about it.

Habits are oriented and formed by our desires. In order to turn teeth-brushing into a habit, you have to desire clean and healthy teeth and a nice smile. Your habits move you toward a desired goal. The only problem is that sin has corrupted our desires, and disoriented them towards goals that are not good. Sin has oriented our desires toward destruction.

Even after coming to knowledge of Christ and the Gospel, the desires of the flesh still present a force to be reckoned with. This is St. Paul's concern when he writes, "So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin" (Romans 7:25). I know what I should be doing, but my desires are still disoriented by sin in the flesh.

So is it just a matter of practicing good habits? It is a matter of studying some virtues and willing yourself to do them? No, because it doesn't address the root of the desire problem.

"One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; he shall set me high upon a rock." This new desire expressed by the Psalmist is not a product of a new habit, or the will, or a set of virtues. It's the place where sins are forgiven. It's where the root of the desire problem is addressed. It's the place where you develop a baptismal habit--daily confession and forgiveness. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Grant me the strength to do With ready heart and willing Whatever You command, My calling here fulfilling; That I do what I should While trusting You to bless The outcome for my good, For You must give success. (O God, My Faithful God, LSB 696:2)


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