October 6, 2008 - Monday of the 20th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 5:22—6:9; Matthew 9:1-17

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

We think we can outthink God, and there we are mistaken. Ever since we bought into the notion that we can know good and evil, we think we’re smarter than God. Religion is where this shows most clearly. We think we know better than God when it comes to religion. And that’s the biggest mistake of all.

God’s ways are not our ways. Our method would be to earn salvation by earning merits in the way of Boy Scout badges. Collect enough merit badges, and you, too, can get into heaven. We could compare our chests full of medals and see how good we are doing compared to others. That would be our way. Those are our religious thoughts.

But God has something different in mind. Free water, bread, milk. “Buy without money and without price.” Huh? That’s right. Free. Gratis. Grace. For nothing. We can’t imagine it for even a second. We work for everything else in life. We need money to pay for the bread and milk we buy from the grocery store. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” said economist Milton Friedman. And he’s right, except when it comes to God’s table.

His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. God’s feast of salvation is free for all who hunger and thirst. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” Jesus said, “for they will be filled.” The feast is free to us, costly to Jesus. He paid with His Body to be our Bread. He paid with His Blood to be our Wine. He gave Himself into death to become the source of living Water. Surely not our thoughts or our ways! Thanks be to God!

Thy body, giv’n for me, O Savior,

Thy blood which Thou for me didst shed,

These are my life and strength forever,

By them my hungry soul is fed.

Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood

Be for my soul the highest good!

(Lutheran Service Book #619:1)