July 18, 2008 - Friday of the 8th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 1:21—2:17; Galatians 6:1-18

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Doesn't the Bible teach us to be humble? How can St. Paul then tell us to “boast?” Easy. When it comes to you and me, there is nothing to boast or brag about. We are sinners through and through. We don't love God as the Commandments teach. We certainly don't love our neighbor as ourselves. Nothing to get all excited about in us.

But Paul doesn't tell us to boast in how well we're doing. He tells us to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ. Boast at what the Lord has done. Boast that the Son of God came in the flesh. Boast that He took your sins and carried them to the cross. Boast that on that cross He shed His blood to wipe them out and then to top it all off rose again from the dead on the Third Day. Brag about that! And boast and brag about what the Lord gives you at the font and in His supper and through preaching and absolution. Boast in those gifts of Jesus.

But beware! When you boast only in what Jesus has done, those who are impressed with how religious they are won't like it. They won't like it that you don't put your faith and trust in them and their way of living. They won't like it that you scorn their works and exalt only Christ and all He has done. Those who think they are religious and pious and holy, because of how they live, won't get it when you boast in Christ. They' won't like you at all. Whatever! That's just more proof that there's no boasting in you. All your confidence is to be in Jesus.

Boast! Brag! Glory! Revel in it! Your Lord Jesus has saved you from sin, death, the devil, and hell. That's something to cheer about. Not for our glory, but for His. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

When the woes of life o'ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy, Never shall the cross forsake me; Lo, it glows with peace and joy. (LSB 427:2)