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Psalm 111
 
Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name! The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (ESV)
Me and Mine
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, Pastor
7 October 2015
All that is ours Christ takes into Himself by His incarnation. Christ takes our human flesh to redeem us from sin and death, by taking these things from us in His conception and birth of the Virgin Mary. He also offers Himself into obedience to the law and the suffering of the cross. He does not merely consider our need. He does not merely think about our desperate condition. He does not merely commiserate with poor sinners. He is not like us, when we pass a beggar on the street for whom we feel badly, but for whom we don't do anything useful. Christ doesn't merely feel for us, but trades places with poor beggars like us, that He might exalt us to His blessed status. He becomes the beggar and we become the king. He takes the tattered rags of filth and confers the glorious gift of His holiness to us in the cloak of His righteousness. We are taken from the filth and squalor of our sin and wrapped in the ermine of His righteousness through our baptism (Gal 3:27). Our sin has been melted away like the wax of a burning candle and burned off like a mist cleared by the rising sun.
 
According to His human nature, which is our nature, Christ learns obedience. When the writer to the Hebrews says, "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered" (Heb 5:7-8), it is our nature of which he speaks. He has learned obedience in our flesh. He has learned it for us, so that we who were intractably ignorant because of our spiritual poverty might know our God rightly. His obedience is attributed to us poor beggars because of the blessed exchanged worked by God's Son, conveying this work to us.
 
Through it, we become scions of God's house, who ought to have been begging for crumbs at the master's door. We become heirs, who ought to have slept with the dogs and had our wounds licked by them (Lk 16:20-21). Instead He seats us at His banqueting table where we are fed by His own hand (Mt 26:26-28) and lodged with Him so that he can tend our wounds at His own expense (Lk 10:33-37). He makes us kings and priests in His kingdom forever. He takes me and mine and in exchange He gives Himself and His.

 

Gregory of Nazianzus

"In Christ's character as the Word He was neither obedient nor disobedient. For such expressions belong to servants and inferiors, and the former applies to the better sort of them, while the latter belongs to those who deserve punishment. But, in the character of the form of a servant, Christ condescends to His fellow servants, and takes upon Him a strange form, bearing all me and mine in Himself, that in Himself He may exhaust the bad, as fire does wax, or as the sun does the mists of earth; and that I may partake of His nature by the union. Thus He honors obedience by His action, and proves it experientially by His suffering. For to possess the disposition of obedience is not enough, just as it would not be enough for us, unless we also proved it by our actions; for action is the proof of disposition."

Gregory Nazianzus, Third Theological Oration, 6
 
Prayer
O Christ, in Your own Person You represented us. We were the forsaken and despised, but now by the sufferings of You who could not suffer, we were taken up and saved. You make Your own our folly and our transgressions; that we might be freed from them, foolish and wicked though we are. Amen.
 
For Christian clergy, that they would find joy in proclaiming the fruits of Christ's work to their congregations
 
For Paul Lodholz, that the Lord would give him strength and healing
 
For those whose work is dangerous or challenging, such as police, public safety workers, doctors and nurses, that we would appreciate their sacrifices and they would find true joy in them
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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Memorial Lutheran Church | 5800 Westheimer Rd. | Houston | TX | 77057