Reflections: August 3, 2021
Tuesday of the Ninth Week after Trinity
By Harrison Goodman
Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. (1 Samuel 17:51)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You are not David. Your challenges are not Goliath. This is not a promise that if you just believe enough, you'll conquer anything you put your mind to, no matter how big it is. That's called works-righteousness. We don't do that here.
Be honest with yourself. Nobody prays that they would be weaker so that God's strength would be magnified. We want to be superheroes. We want to be the one who conquers. We want to overcome challenges. We want to be Goliath. That desire has to die. This isn't you vs. the world. This is true God against false gods. Christ against my idols, like power, wealth, and might. Only the true God can stand. The false gods will all turn to dust eventually.
You are not David. Jesus is. He kills Goliath, your sin, the death-bringer. He doesn't do it as we expect, in an epic end game battle with cameos and powerful music. He doesn't grab a mythical weapon used by mighty beings in an awe-inspiring moment. He doesn't watch too many movies. He overcomes not by strength, but by weakness. Christ, the Son of David, conquers sin on the Cross. Goliath died. Old Adam died. Sin died. Jesus won by weakness. Death is swallowed up in victory.
Then He cuts off Goliath's head with his own sword. Death is destroyed by death. Christ's death undoes your own. Our hope becomes centered not in superhero movies and idolatrous might, but in a weakness that overcame the strength of the world. It scattered the forces of darkness. It undoes the accusations of the evil one. Point to the Cross, where your David, Christ, overcame your sin, Goliath. The evil warrior is fallen, and nobody can stand behind him and threaten you.
The head becomes the trophy, the mark that death was destroyed by death. It's why we cling to the crucifix. We hang them on our walls and wear them on our necks. This is our trophy, because our sin was brought to nothing there. We are old Adam, slain Goliath, and we are the new man. United to Jesus in death. United to Him in resurrection. The Cross is our hope and trophy. Christ has conquered, and you get the spoils. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Morning Star, how fair and bright! You shine with God's own truth and light, Aglow with grace and mercy! Of Jacob's race, King David's son, Our Lord and master, You have won Our hearts to serve You only! Lowly, holy! Great and glorious, All victorious, Rich in blessing! Rule and might o'er all possessing! ("O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright" LSB 395, 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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