Reflections: January 12, 2021
Tuesday of the First Week after the Epiphany
By William K. Stottlemyer
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. How many times have you felt foolish? Maybe it was something you said or did in front of family or friends. No matter what it was, all of us have done something that was not wise.
We make mistakes. Because of sin, all of us show a lack of good sense. Our lives are filled with failures to follow God's Word. On top of all this foolishness, our nature desires to justify itself.
Have you ever noticed how so many religions have you doing something? Most non-Christian beliefs and, sadly, even a lot of Christian churches make you think you have to earn salvation, that you have to work really hard in order to earn God's favor. But it's all a lie.
God chose what is foolish in the eyes of the world in order to shame the strong. God chose the Cross, suffering, and death of His righteous Son in order to bring about your salvation. The world says that it is foolish and weak, but our Lord chose to work in this way. The death of Christ on the Cross is the ultimate sign of weakness, yet it is this act which is the strength of God and brings about your justification. Jesus died so that we might be forgiven of all our sins. Jesus did everything, and we did nothing. What foolishness in the eyes of the world! And now, because of this gift given by the Holy Spirit, we have God's wisdom, and faith in Jesus which brings to us Jesus' righteousness, sanctification, and eternal redemption. So now we boast only in the Lord. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
I thank you, dear Lord Jesus, that belonging to you is not dependent on my half-completed, worthless deeds. My sincere intention is to be with you always and be like you. However, I 'm constantly reminded of how much is lacking. Time and time again I must confess that I failed. You know that Lord. You have seen and see all the shortcomings I can't see. I praise you for not looking at my shortcomings when I come to you. Instead, you let me exchange them for your righteousness and those priceless cloths that can conceal all my misery and make me worthy of meeting your father with you. Thank you, my Lord Jesus. Amen. (Bo Giertz, To Live with Christ [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2008], 434.)
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
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