Today's Reading: Philippians 3:17-21
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
It is easy to become citizens of the world, consumed by our possessions and doings. After all, each day we wake up we are in the world, yet, struggling not to be of the world.
Our Lord took on human flesh so that He might redeem us in the ugliness of the world. He chose to take on lowly flesh, like our own, and to wear that flesh in a lowly world and to die a lowly death. Lots of lowliness, and what does the Lord do with it? He turns that lowliness into glory.
The Lord Jesus Christ takes flesh and blood, every day things in the world, and turns them into agents of grace, winning forgiveness on the cross and then delivering that forgiveness into our mouths and bellies for our salvation.
There in the Lord’s Body and Blood He conforms our lowly flesh to His, making His glory our own – not because we earned it or merited it, but because it has been given to us. That is the way of the Gospel, to take lowly things, make them glorious, and then to give those glorious things freely without merit. All is gift in the Lord!
As baptized Christians we rejoice in these lowly things made glorious. However, the world looks at mere bread and wine and questions how it could ever carry flesh and blood under it. Faith doesn’t work in that way though; faith says “Amen” to such lowliness. The world sees lowliness as just that--lowliness, but we see such lowliness made glorious by the Lord.
Thus, by receiving our Lord’s lowliness and basking in His glory we become citizens of heaven. In this world but not of it, we rejoice in glory that the world cannot understand, taking and eating and splashing in salvation. All the while saying “Amen,” that is, gift received!
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
We sing the praise of Him who died, Of Him who died upon the cross The sinner’s hope let all deride; For this we count the world but loss. (LSB 429.1)