Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 5:1-25; 1 Peter 2:1-12
Whoever believes in Him won’t ever be ashamed. (1 Peter 2:6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Put away all anger and lying and hypocrisy and envy and slander (1 Peter 2:1). Actually be kind to those around you. Don’t just do it to their face, and later think and say what you like. Don’t lust after that boy or girl. Don’t go too far with your boyfriend or girlfriend. “Keep your conduct honorable” (1 Peter 2:12). Love everyone in word and deed, fervently, willingly, faithfully. These are your “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
If any sin like those or our many other sins were brought out into the light, we’d be ashamed. Would we have friends? A job? A family? A God? That’s the rub, isn’t it? We live a life of shame. We need to cover our shame, our sin, our guilt. We need to make ourselves feel better, look better, either to make up for our failures or at least to be better than someone else. We try to hide our sins from God. We keep on doing them, making up for them. And when our Lord says to stop doing the wrong thing, and start actually doing the loving thing, we come up with excuses, or we get angry. Shame lashes out at God and others.
Jesus is ashamed. Of you? No, not ever! He takes your sin and shame, and claims all as His own. What’s yours is His at Calvary. There He’s shamed, naked, crucified, killed. He’s abandoned by His Father in your place. Jesus is your curse, your sins. He’s the biggest hypocrite, envier, liar, slanderer, luster, hate-filled man ever. Not because He Himself did those things but because you and I did them, and He takes ownership of what you and I do daily and much and dies for it all.
He brings you into His light, His forgiveness, His love, and He mercies you (1 Peter 2:9-10). He gives what’s His, what He gave for you. What’s His is His love and “righteousness, innocence, blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead.” He clothes you in that in Baptism, making you a child of God (1 Peter 2:2). What He gave for you is His body and blood. He gives you that, too, at the Supper of His Body and Blood. “You have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:3).
Jesus was rejected for you. You could reject Him: keep living in your sins, keep on trying to fix them. Then Jesus remains “a stone of stumbling” and you keep “dis-trusting” His Word, and that ends in darkness and death (1 Peter 2:8). But that’s not you, in Jesus, is it? He enlivens you, enlightens you, fills you with His love for you and others (1 Peter 2:9). You’re baptized. You’re communed. You’re mercied. You trust Him and what He’s done for you, and “whoever believes in Him won’t ever be ashamed” (1 Peter 2:6). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Aaron Fenker