Today's Reading: Luke 6:36-42
Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38b)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Kolpos is a word that describes what you can do when you wear a long tunic with a belt around your waist. You can make a makeshift tote by blousing the skirts of the tunic over the belt or girdle to carry odds and ends. Presumably, one could carry more or less based on the size of his or her kolpos.
Now imagine a rich old lady in your neighborhood who develops a reputation for filling kids' Halloween sacks to the brim with candy, no matter how big or small. What kind of bag do you think the kids who wise up bring?
Jesus says, "Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your kolpos. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." If you only blouse a little of your tunic over your belt, you'll only be able to carry a few things. If you come to the rich old lady's house with a coin purse, you'll only get a few Tootsie Rolls. But once you wise up...
The picture Jesus paints for us is that you ought not to consider yourself a middling sinner with insignificant sins who only needs a small portion of forgiveness. Rather, boldly confess that there never has been, and probably will never be, a sinner worse than you. You need all the forgiveness you can get. Start with a good measure, press it down, shake it together, fill it to the top, and then fill it some more. That's the way of the Gospel.
In the Smalcald Articles, we confess, "We will now return to the Gospel, which does not give us counsel and aid against sin in only one way. God is superabundantly generous in His grace" (SA III.IV). The superabundant gifts of God are found in the Word, Baptism, Absolution, Supper, and mutual forgiveness. God gives and gives until He can't give any more, and then He gives some more. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, grant that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by Your governance that Your Church may joyfully serve You in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for Trinity 4)