September 23, 2008 - Tuesday of the 18th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 10:12-21

Daily Lectionary: Nehemiah 9:1-21; 1 Timothy 5:17—6:2

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the LORD set His heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. (Deuteronomy 10:14-15)

The LORD chose Israel; Israel did not choose the LORD. He chose Israel when He selected Abraham to be the father of many and his Seed to be the blessing of all nations. He did it to show the world that His salvation in Christ is by faith in His work, not by our works.

The LORD chose Israel, and He gave Israel the mark of His ownership - circumcision. Not simply circumcision of the flesh, but also circumcision of the heart. The LORD Himself would cut away their stubbornness and unbelief and make them His own chosen people, a holy nation, His treasured possession.

The LORD chose Israel, and Israel was called to be whom the LORD said it was - His people. His justice was their justice. His mercy was their mercy. His love was their love. What did He ask of them? That they fear Him, walk in His ways, love Him and serve Him.

The LORD chose you in your Baptism, which is the true circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit. He chose you to be His royal priesthood, His chosen people, His holy nation, His treasured possession. He has put His baptismal mark of ownership on you. You have been put into Christ’s death and resurrection. Jesus, the Son of God, perfectly feared, loved, trusted His Father, walked in His ways, loved Him and served Him to death on a cross to save you.

Now He is your praise, your God, Jesus, who has done for you these great and terrifying things. Come, let us worship Him!

Christ Jesus, be our present joy

Our future great reward;

Our only glory, may it be

To glory in the Lord!

(Lutheran Service Book #553:5)