Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 36:33-37:14; Romans 5:1-21
God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are. (1 Corinthians 1:28)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There are already too many sermons and devotions that lament the workings of this world, as if it weren’t already on our minds. The problem is that we’re all waiting for the God who promises to fix it, to out-world the world in rhetoric, satire, or even violence. To do something to make people nicer to us.
He showed up in the face of all the same ridicule, born of the Virgin Mary to be called the son of a whore. Born into of the same violence, carried off to Egypt while the king slaughtered every male child his age.
Our God entered into our world to bear it, not to outdo it. It was to enter into the Jordan River, to be baptized by John into sin, blood, humiliation, and destruction, and to carry it all to the only place that road could lead: the Cross. It’s foolish. Low. Despised. It brought to nothing the things that are. The sin. The humiliation. The destruction. The death. Christ left those things buried at Calvary.
So when the world does worldly stuff and we want to complain about it, look instead to the Cross, where Christ not only conquered, but also forgave the world. God doesn’t need to fix the world. He forgave it. Christ never calls us to see sheep and goats. He is the judge of that. He calls us to love our neighbors. That’s not rooted in our overcoming them, but in our seeing that He died for them, too—seeing those in the world that hate you and calling them friend, worthy of love because God paid the price in blood: That’s foolishness, too. But it’s what God chose to do. You don’t need to be afraid of them. You are baptized into Christ Jesus, who has already brought to nothing the evils that are. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Harrison Goodman
Almighty Father, in Your Son You loved us when not yet begun Was this old earth’s foundation! Your Son has ransomed us in love To live in Him here and above: This is Your great salvation. Alleluia! Christ the living, To us giving Life forever, Keeps us Yours and fails us never! (O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright, LSB 395:4)