Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 6:1-23; Philippians 1:21—2:11
This Week’s Readings: St. Luke 17:11-19
“And [Jesus] said to him, ‘Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” (St. Luke 17:19)
There is a right way and a wrong way to understand the above words of Jesus. It would be wrong to say, "I was cured by something special in me; my healing came from within me; my praying and my spirituality caused me to be made well." This wrong-headed thinking totally misunderstands what faith is, for it places the focus and emphasis on the believer rather than on the One who is believed in. It locates the ability to save in man's doing rather than in God's doing. It gives credit and glory to the one who has faith rather than the One to whom faith clings.
Faith, by itself, is nothing. The power of faith comes from that in which it trusts. Faith is defined not by what it is, but by what it receives and trusts in.
For the Christian, faith relies on Christ alone. It is not the faith itself but what the faith holds to – what or who you believe in – that really matters. It is the content of your faith – what it contains and embraces – that is most important. The essential thing is not your trust but where your trust is directed.
That is why your trust is located in Christ alone, for only He can deliver you from sin, death, and the devil. Only Christ can make you His child in Holy Baptism. Only Christ can forgive your sins through Holy Absolution from your pastor “as from God Himself.” Only Christ can forgive you in His Body and Blood in the Sacrament. When your faith is rightly focused on Christ and His gifts, you will always be returning thanks to the God from whom all blessings flow.
“O Lord, keep Your church with Your perpetual mercy; and because of our frailty we cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all things hurtful and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” (Collect for Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity)
The Reverend Gregory Schultz, pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Campbell Hill, IL, is the author for this portion of the Trinity season.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.