Reflections: September 15, 2020
Tuesday of the 14th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble. (Proverbs 4:18-19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ethics. Morality. Virtue. "Good decisions." The world is full of advice on how to get through life successfully and with minimal conflict and irritation. Many people read the book of Proverbs and think that's what is being taught: a religious take on "self-help" and "worldly wisdom." But that's not it.
True wisdom is faith in Jesus Christ. It is the knowledge that apart from Jesus we are nothing but condemned sinners who have nothing and live by nothing other than our own selfishness. To have the light of Christ through faith is to acknowledge that it is God alone who saves us and gives us life and strength and patience to live life in this world.
Jesus came to take away our sins. He came to shelter us from God's judgment against our disobedience. He came to give us righteousness and everlasting life. Sure, you can live in this world without those things, but that's a downward spiral that ends up in hell. And just because we have those gifts, doesn't mean our life is suddenly easy and carefree. Rather, the wisdom of faith is that we have the bigger perspective: God is the One who created us and all things and it is God Himself who sent His Son to redeem us and make all things new. That is Good News that is put upon us in Baptism and confirmed by preaching and the Supper. It's Good News and wisdom that get us through the world, not by our practicing "virtues" or "morals," but by living in the salvation Jesus gives. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Save us from weak resignation To the evils we deplore; Let the gift of Your salvation Be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, Serving You whom we adore, Serving You whom we adore. ("God of Grace and God of Glory" LSB 850, st. 4)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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