Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pentecost 14 B - Psalm 15

So I guess verse 5a (do not lend money at interest) means all the bankers are out of luck when it comes to real estate on the holy hill. I’m not a Hebrew scholar but I’m willing to bet very few people lent anything without expecting something in return so either the holy hill is a vacant lot or there must be another way to walk blamelessly. I think the key verse might be 4c (who stand by their oath even to their hurt) Walking blamelessly and doing what is right while speaking heartfelt truth and not slander is a way of being that considers the needs of friends and neighbors and the needy to be as great as one’s own need. The reason those who do these things are never moved is because they embody the heart and soul and will of God. From the very beginning God refused to abandon those who were made in the image of God even though those made in God’s image chose to abandon God. God’s oath led God to the “hurt” of the holy hill of the cross and if there is interest owed on the loan of Jesus’ life I certainly can’t pay it. Speaking of not being able to pay back what is owed I was set apart for the ministry of Word and Sacrament twenty four years ago at Calvary Lutheran Church. I have not served blamelessly but I think I have always spoken the truth from my heart giving no occasion for false security or illusory hope. I don’t think my labor has been in vain but it has been laborious. It is only by grace and the goodness of the people of God that I can say today I am grateful for the call to “pastor up” twenty four years ago. In the blessing and the burden of serving Jesus is found and in Him I found the truth of Martin Luther’s Sacristy prayer; “…you see how unsuited I am to meet so great and difficult a task… do not forsake me for if ever should I be on my own I would easily wreck it all.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Philip, for your posts, which I ponder every week. I very much appreciate today's post, which has given me new considerations for this coming Sunday's sermon. I did not know (as an Anglican) Martin Luther's sacristy prayer -- it's lovely, both simple and profound, and resonates deeply with me. (By the way, we were ordained in the same year. I'm still astonished that I'm privileged to be called to this ministry.) May God continue to bless you in your ministry!