Reflections: August 2, 2021
Monday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
With the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. (2 Samuel 22:27)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. To know God by the Law alone is to know a tyrant. It's a picture of a God who waits in heaven for the chance to send people to hell. He comes across as distant to those in need and only present to punish. Using the word "Father" only twists the knife. It isn't just an adversarial relationship. It's a hopeless one. That kind of bitter hopelessness only twists sinners even further in upon themselves. With the crooked you make yourself seem torturous.
To know God by the Law and the Gospel is to know a Father. With the purified He deals purely. With the blameless, He shows Himself to be not a tyrant, but blameless. It isn't that God isn't so bad if you happen to be so good. The Law which shows us our sins wasn't given as an obstacle to overcome. It's just reality. Sin breaks stuff. That's not okay. You don't have to like it, but as we are bent in on ourselves, loving our sin more than our Lord, we can only see a game to be won or a tyrant to overthrow. That's not a battle you're going to win. God is bigger than you are.
His way is true. We just happen to be on the wrong side of that. But He does not sit in heaven waiting to damn. He descends into the pit to save. He is a shield for those who take refuge in Him. He makes you blameless by taking your sins upon Himself to bear the Cross for you. He makes you pure by the waters of your Baptism that give you an identity in His mercy, not in your works. The Law will either drive us to the grave or to the Gospel. God does not want us lost in the darkness of death. He is your lamp that lights up your darkness. He is the shield that protects you, even from yourself. God is the One who has made your way blameless. That way is the Cross. He bears the torture your sins warrant. He insists on being a refuge, not to the good, but the sinners. To know God as good isn't to know yourself to be good first, but to hear the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins, and the light that shines in the darkness. It is to know Christ crucified for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen
Jesus, refuge of the weary, Blest Redeemer, whom we love, Fountain in life's desert dreary, Savior from the world above: Often have Your eyes, offended, Gazed upon the sinner's fall; Yet upon the cross extended, You have borne the pain of all. ("Jesus, Refuge of the Weary" LSB 423, st.1)
-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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