Reflections: Saturday of the 19th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Introit for the 20th Sunday after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 31:1-29; Matthew 19:16-30

Psalm 48:1 The Lord is righteous in all he has done to us, for we have not obeyed his commandments. 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

The Lord is righteous in all he has done to us, for we have not obeyed his commandments. It’s not reassuring.  You deserve everything that you get.  The blame you sling at others. The excuses you craft for yourself.  It all melts away under the Lord’s justice.  He didn’t just see it. He acts righteously in response.  You deserve this. The sinner recoils.  We think we know what righteousness looks like.  But we can only seem to measure it in “better than us.”  The Lord won’t belittle the word righteousness to mean “didn’t mess up as bad as you.”  

Righteousness isn’t a state for Him.  It’s an action.  If you spend every moment flinching away from God out of fear of punishment, you’ll miss it too.  If the Lord was simply “fair” in what He has done to us, we’d be in hell.  All of us are doing way better than we deserve.  The Lord is righteous in all He has done to us.  He has redeemed us.  Righteousness was a verb.  He made you Righteous too. It fills the mouth of the psalmist.  Glorify Your name, O Lord; and deal with us according to Your great mercy.  We have not obeyed the Lord’s commandments, so He has crucified us with Jesus in our baptism. And He has raised us, free, forgiven, and holy.  It’s what righteousness looks like.  Not just better than someone else, but wholly without sin.  Jesus isn’t content being without sin Himself.  He wraps you up in the same.  So that righteousness isn’t an action for you. It’s a state.  You are baptized. You are righteous.  You are the one who has received mercy.  You don’t earn it. You don’t do it. You receive it. You are it.  You are righteous. Mercied. Forgiven.  Loved.  

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.  We can spend our days rejoicing in God’s steadfast love that takes action and shape.  It bears the cross for you, and makes you into one who doesn’t need to hide from God, but can rejoice in His judgments.  He has judged the Son that you would be judged righteous.  

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

It brings the Savior’s righteousness To robe our souls in royal dress; From all our guilt it brings release And gives the troubled conscience peace. (The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace, LSB 580: 3)

-Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.