Today's Reading: Galatians 5:25 - 6:10
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
You' ve probably learned that good manners are the grease that lubricates society. A little politeness goes a long way in smoothing our personal and societal interactions. We avoid stores with rude help and none of us wants to be on the road among ill-mannered drivers.
Society benefits from people who know how to balance minding their own business with looking out to help others in need. At its heart, this is more than a civic virtue: The Second Table of the Law (Commandments 4 – 10) sums up the "good manners" that God expects of His people.
Unfortunately, we are too often the impolite ones, sinning against our neighbor by putting our needs above his or by failing to give him the physical, moral, or spiritual support he needs. We engage in judgmentalism through the sins of our mouths, whether by lying or by passing on truthful information that would be better off buried and forgotten.
Yet while mankind busies itself thinking it is something when it' s really nothing, Jesus engaged in the opposite: He, the Alpha and Omega, the Source of all that is, made Himself nothing, that we might have every good thing. He forgives us now and promises that in the Resurrection we will be holy and perfect in every way.
As redeemed children of God, we are to join "with gladsome voice" to "praise the God of heaven" who "His own Son hath given" (LSB 390:1) . Even as He forgives our self-centered attitude and self-serving speech, Jesus leads us to use our "gladsome voice" to praise, honor, and bless our neighbor and to refrain from speaking that which brings shame and dishonor on him.
In so doing, we "fulfill the Law of Christ," even though that fulfillment is hesitant, halting, and imperfect. We discover the ability to open the doors of our hearts and step aside to let the needy enter, just as He h as opened the door to His kingdom and stood aside for us to come inside.
We are rich, for He was poor; Is not this a wonder? Therefore praise God evermore Here on earth and yonder. (LSB 390:3)
Registration for the 2013 Higher Things Conferences, From Above, is now open! Register today at fromabove2013.org.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.