Reflections: October 5, 2020
Monday of the 17th Week after Trinity
By Gaven Mize
Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, "Come up here," than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It seems as if we just read about being exulted in our text yesterday. That's because we did. We were reminded of who we are outside of Baptism and who we are in our baptized lives. We, who were once dead to sin, in Baptism are made alive in Christ. In other words, you were once in the lowest place, claimed and bound by the devil, but then in the holy waters of Baptism you were made clean and brought out, bound to Christ and with the forgiveness of sins.
Here in Proverbs, we find the same thing placed into a different mouth and in a different testament. In these words we continue to carry with us the necessity not of holding ourselves higher than we ought, but of relying on Jesus to exalt us through the Sacraments. In those Sacraments, we have great hope within us. In order that people know of the hope within us, Christians are called to make a good, right, and salutary confession of faith. We are called to cut away the fat of heretical teachings and present the doctrine of true meat after milk. To this, the writer of Proverbs continues, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear" (Proverbs 25:11-12). Thus our words must be spoken precisely, confidently, and with a right confession of who Christ is, what He has done for us, how He grants us grace through His means, and the hope we have because of our Baptism. We look forward to Christ's coming again to judge the living and the dead. May the words of our mouths and our hearts' meditations be right, and may our words be fitly spoken to a world that needs to hear them. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Gaven Mize is the pastor of Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.
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