Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Apostle’s Creed, First Article part 3
All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. (Small Catechism: Apostle’s Creed, First Article)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. When you read the Explanation to the First Article, it’s amazing how much God does for us, especially when you look at who we are–sinners. You and I deserve nothing, and yet God grants to us everything. There is no reason for God to do what He does, and yet He does it anyway. We don’t even need to ask why, because Luther tells us: “without any merit or worthiness in me.” And so, Luther writes in the Large Catechism, “We confess that He does all this out of pure love and goodness, without our merit, as a kind Father. He cares for us so that no evil falls upon us.”
There is no worthiness in us that causes God to do all that He does. He shows His great love for us in giving us all things to support our earthly body and life. Because of the great things God has given, we want to serve Him with all that we have received. However, according to Luther, we sin daily, even with the gifts God has given. We fail to do as Luther says: “thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”
It is fortunate for us that we have a gracious God, one who doesn’t treat us the way that we deserve. He gives freely, “out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy. . . ” That means that you don’t have to do anything to earn what God gives; you simply receive from His bountiful goodness.
As good as it is to receive temporal gifts from God, it is better to receive eternal gifts, and there can be no greater eternal gift than that of salvation and everlasting life. God has seen fit to give that to you as well, no strings attached, no hoops to jump through. That’s what a loving Father does: gives generously. For you, He has done it and there is nothing for you to do except to receive from God the gifts He desires to give. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, heavenly Father, Your mercies are new to us every morning and, though we in no wise deserve Your goodness, You abundantly provide for all our wants of body and soul. Give us, we humbly pray, Your Holy Spirit that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness toward us, give thanks for all Your benefits and cheerfully serve You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.