Devotion for Thursday, July 9, 2020
Lectionary Readings for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost:
Collect: Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life’s end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Hymns of the Day: “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say” – (LSB 699)
Good Afternoon. I’ll start off by apologizing for not getting this out yesterday, but unfortunately, I was under the weather with a bit of a stomach flu. Fortunately, I wasn’t displaying any of the Covid 19 symptoms, and the nausea was gone by the time I went to bed last night. Those 24-hour bugs can be a nuisance, but that’s all.
Though it is saying something about the way we look at the world now when the first thoughts on my mind were: is this Covid?!? It wasn’t until I consulted a couple of websites and then compared symptoms that I realized I had none of them, and that no, not all illnesses, even today, are as severe and life threatening as this nasty virus that has preoccupied all of our attention as of late. And even once I knew, there was still the occasional doubt, until I woke up this morning with nothing.
Sin works the same way in our lives. It makes us doubt. It makes us doubt whether or not what we do is even sinful, and it also makes us doubt God when He says that He forgives us. Satan uses sin to make us second guess God’s clear teachings, and makes us doubt that He is right. It leads us to do that which we do not want to, while at the same time, leading us to ignore that which we know we should be doing and believing.
That’s exactly what St. Paul is talking about in the Epistle lesson this past Sunday. I call them the Doodoo verses. 😊
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do that which I want to do…and that leaves us in big doodoo.
We know what we should do. We know that we should ‘fear, love and trust in God above all things’ but we doubt. We know that we should keep His teachings and ignore the voice of the masses that tells us what we should do instead, but we don’t. We know we should not sin… but gosh darn it, sinning looks like an awful lot of fun, don’t it? And we slip up. Ah doodoo.
No matter how hard we try, we keep messing up. No matter how much we train ourselves to refrain, we still succumb. We are, by our very nature, sinful and unclean and that no matter what I do, I can’t save myself!
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Jesus, that’s who. Jesus came and lived the sinless life that we couldn’t. He came down into this world of doodoo, and mucked about with us in it, but instead of becoming a pat of the mess, He started the clean up. His death paid for our sin, and His resurrection shows us what He has in store for His children.
Yes, we still doubt, but a day will come when the doubting is gone. Much like me being sick yesterday. All day I doubted whether or not I had a serious ailment, despite knowing that I didn’t because I didn’t have any of the symptoms. It wasn’t until I woke up healthy this morning that my doubt completely left me. So it will be with our faith as well.
Yes, we believe that despite the sin we do, we are saved. Despite our short comings and our failings, God forgives us; but we doubt. But one day, we will wake up and all that doubt will be gone. We will wake up and be in the presence of our Creator, and we will know, without any doubt at all, that despite all the doodoo in our live, we have been made eternally clean and will be with Him forever.
Praise be to God that He has called us out of this world of doubt and despair into His divine kingdom of certainty and hope.
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen.
In Christ and His service,