Reflections: July 18, 2021
The Seventh Sunday after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
"I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat." (Mark 8:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There's a difference between a father who spends time with his kids and one who avoids them by being at work. There's a difference between kids who get As and kids who get detention. There's a difference between the doctor saying there's a cure or telling you that you have only weeks left to live. All the world measures. It's how things work. Literally everywhere. And it's exhausting. It's depressing. Because I know which father I am. . . maybe better than a few, but still not great. You know which kid you are. We know because there are standards. We call it the Law. A picture of good. Anything less. . . just isn't. Everywhere else in the world we live and die by laws. Do enough. Be enough. Have enough. We see the shortcomings here just fine. Laws measure. They point out where things aren't enough, and so we do, too. So any miracle that defies the word "enough" catches our attention, like when Jesus feeds 4,000.
It's so easy to miss the greatest part of it. Get lost in the details. In the numbers. In the crowd. In the miracle. It all flows from one thing. He had compassion on them. For all we measure here, we miss the point. We want to measure. How much do we need? Is there enough? You measure it on the Cross, where the word "enough" sounded like "It is finished." He shed His blood for the forgiveness of all your sins. Not portioned, but poured out for forgiveness. For you. The Law measures. The Gospel just gives. All your sins.
You can interject that you don't need it because you just got that in Absolution. You're already baptized. Shut up. Here's more mercy for you. The Law says, "Do this." The Gospel says, "It is finished." Over and over again. It covers all sin. All shortcomings. All failure. There is no measuring here.
We will be a Gospel church. Without His compassion we will faint along the way, but know that it is yours, it is boundless, and it accomplishes all that is needed. Gather up all your failure and sin and dump it at the Cross. For everywhere that you don't measure up, for every place you're insecure, for every place you compensate or bargain or cheat, there is mercy for you. Your sins are forgiven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, whose never-failing providence orders all things both in heaven and earth, we humbly implore You to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things that are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity)
-Rev. Harrison Goodman is the pastor of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
He is also the content executive for Higher Things.
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