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Psalm 99:1-5

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. 

Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he! The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he! (ESV)
Seeing What?
Fat Monday
8 February 2016
We are masters of noticing the unimportant. We can certainly see the speck in our neighbor's eye, and not the log in our own (Mt 7:3). We see cosmetic imperfection ("Bad hair day!"), but cannot see the inner beauty or depth of personality in another. We see other's imperfections and weaknesses so easily. What we really ought to see is not the other, but the other's Lord, Jesus Christ.
 
We ought to notice what is truly important about the other person. What is important about the other is that the other's Lord is Christ the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. And if He has taken away the world's sin, then He certainly has taken away the other's sin. If we notice the other's sin, it is merely noticing the unimportant, or worse yet, the non-existent. If Christ has taken away sin, who are we to notice it? In this sense the church is holy, as we confess in the Creed. Let's see what the church is according to Christ's Word, rather than our false views about what is important and what is not. Seeing Christ is the true theology. Seeing Christ is seeing the truth.

 

Martin Luther

"Where sins are noticed and felt, there they really are not present. For, according to the theology of Paul, there is no more sin, no more death, and no more curse in the world, but only in Christ, who is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, and who became a curse in order to set us free from the curse...The true theology teaches that there is no more sin in the world, because Christ, on whom, according to Isaiah 53, the Father has laid the sins of the entire world, has conquered, destroyed, and killed it in His own body (Is 53:6). Having died to sin once, He has truly been raised from the dead and will not die any more (Rm 6:9). Therefore wherever there is faith in Christ, there sin has in fact been abolished, put to death, and buried. But where there is no faith in Christ, there sin remains. And although there are still remnants of sin in the saints because they do not believe perfectly, nevertheless these remnants are dead; for on account of faith in Christ they are not imputed."
 
Prayer
Lord Christ, let me see only You by faith. Grant that Your Holy Spirit would lead me to overlook the sin that You have taken away. Let me see the church as holy, because You have declared her to be so. Amen.
 
For Paul Lodholz, that the Lord would grant him confidence in divine mercy
 
For those who are experiencing the burdens of aging, that their hope and strength would be in the One who promises to be their God and to gray hairs to carry them
 
For all useful arts and professions, that God would confirm all persons in the vocation of His choosing
Art: RAFFAELLO, Sanzio The Transfiguration (1518-20)

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