Prayer of the Day
Merciful God, gracious and benevolent, through your Son you invite all the world to a meal of mercy. Grant that we may eagerly follow his call, and bring us with all your saints into your life of justice and joy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Isaiah 1:10-18 (NRSV)
This whole section is all about how God doesn’t like how people go through the motions. God does not like for us to do things by rote. He wants us to be real, he wants worship to be authentic, no matter how you worship. If being authentic is worshiping Pentecostal style has meaning to you, then go for it. Although I am in the Lutheran denomination I really don’t care how you worship, as long as you worship the right person.
Psalm 32:1-7 (NRSV)
The Joy of Forgiveness
Of David. A Maskil.
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.Selah
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.Selah
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.Selah
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 (NRSV)
We head on over to one of the first books of the New Testament, though it’s not a book, but a letter. Paul does make a good comment. Are we worthy of His call? It seems that it doesn’t work, especially from our fallen viewpoint. I ask again, are we worthy? Only through Christ’s blood will we become worthy of God’s glory. So it’s almost a catch-22. The only way we can become worthy in God’s eyes is if we are covered by His blood, His sacrifice. Everything we try will never be close enough. Even the Pharisees weren’t good enough. If they weren’t, then we certainly are not. So, the only way we are made worthy is if we believe in Christ and who he was and why he came to this measly little planet on the edge of the Milky Way.
Luke 19:1-10 (NRSV)
We end with the gospel story of Jesus and the tax collector Zacchaeus. We don’t know how much money he might have stolen from the people, it’s never said. But Jesus’ presence definitely turned his life around. He changed because he met Him. Isn’t that what everyone who becomes a believer states? It’s all because they met the risen Lord. They had it easy during Jesus’ earthly ministry. For us it’s much harder because all we can do is to take everything on faith.