Today's Reading: Luke 14:1-11
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Christian faith is just plain different from the way the world works and the religions that the world comes up with. The world's way is for you to do your part to make yourself great. Survival of the fittest. Win out over others. So it's no surprise when their religions work the same way: YOU do it. YOU accomplish it. YOU make yourself great. YOU show others that you have what it takes to be the top dog.
The Christian faith is the exact opposite. What is low and humbled is what the Lord lifts up and exalts. The Law does that first of all. It humbles us. It shows us that not only can we NOT do what is required of us, we don't even WANT to. The Law silences our boasting by telling us we haven't done what we should. The Law cuts off every escape route by condemning our attempts at saving ourselves. The Law takes us--we who think we're big shots--and makes us low.
Then there's Jesus. The Son of God. God Himself. Highest of High. Above all things. He humbles Himself, makes Himself low when, as a man, He suffers and is killed on the cross at the hands of men who think they're all that. He who was the highest is the lowest on Calvary. Why? To raise up what His Law has made low: you!
By His death and resurrection, by baptizing you and giving you His Body and Blood, Jesus exalts you. Lifts you up. Raises you up to a place of honor and glory that you could never attain on your own, when He rises from the dead and ascends to the right hand of the Father. Jesus, who was low, has been made high again and He takes you with Him. Jesus is the one who does the humbling and the exalting!
The world teaches us to put down others while we claw our way to the top. Jesus comes down and lifts us up from sin and death to glory and everlasting life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord, we implore You, grant Your people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds to follow You, the only God; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.