Monday, July 12, 2021

Tuesday prior to Proper 11


Psalm 23; key verse v.6— Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever... Goodness and mercy both refer to the benefits of being a child of God, namely that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Hebrew for this word suggests, “Throughout the years”. Because of this connection; this union we have with Jesus Christ we will live and reign with Him throughout all eternity. What a comfort it is to have peace with God through our Lord and Savior.

Goodness – God’s goodness consists of righteousness, holiness, justice, kindness, grace and love. Goodness is also one of the fruits of the Spirit which characterizes Christian behavior. {Galatians 5:22}  Christians are called to goodness even as God the Father is perfect and good. Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew: "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

There is a problem, however. It’s a problem found in all of us. It’s a problem with sin. Because of our sinful nature our goodness fails to measure up to the Father’s standard of perfection. What are we to do?

We trust in the mercy of Almighty God. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me...” What is the mercy of God? Mercy is that aspect of God’s love, which causes Him to help those who are miserable. Those who are miserable may be so either because they have broken God’s law or because they find themselves in circumstances beyond their control.

What are we to do when we find ourselves to be in such circumstances? We rely and fall upon the Savior’s amazing grace, which, of course, is that aspect of God’s love that moves Him to forgive those who are guilty. 

God shows mercy on those who have broken His law. Daniel 9:9 reminds us: “To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him

God’s mercy is given to us although it is undeserved. Paul reminds us in Romans 9:16: “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  No wonder we cry out to god when we pray the Kyrie: “Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.”

Especially when we poor sinners find ourselves in circumstances beyond our control the Savior reaches down to us with His mercy. Jesus had mercy when He healed the blind men {Matthew 9:27-31; 20:29-34} and when He cleansed the lepers. {Luke 17:11-19}   Because God is merciful, He expects us, His children to be merciful. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy

Collect for Psalm 23: Lord Jesus Christ, shepherd of your Church, you give us new birth in the waters of baptism; you anoint us with oil, and call us to salvation at your table. Dispel the terrors of death and the darkness of error. Lead your people along safe paths; that they may rest securely in you and well in the house of the Lord now and forever, for your names sake. [2] -July 13, 2021

[1] The Crucifixion Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut copyright ©WELS used with permission

[2] Collect for Psalm 23, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church, Vol. IV, The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, © 1996 Delhi, NY

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