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Psalm 45:1-12

 
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
 
You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty!
 
In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; the peoples fall under you.
 
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
 
Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father's house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people.(ESV)
What Holiness Means
Thursday After Pentecost
19 May 2016
The Church's holiness does not consist in her members, but in her Lord. This is one of the hardest lessons for us Christians to learn. The Lord knows the number of times Christians say and do things that are not in keeping with the holiness of the Church's Head. How easy it is for us to become offended because of what we perceive to be the bad behavior of those who call themselves Christian. Christians are and remain sinners. If they weren't sinners they would have no need for the Church, nor the Church's head.
 
In fact, Jesus defines his holy little community as a community of sinners and outcasts, "As Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?' But when he heard it, he said, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick'" (Mt 9:10-12). Therefore, it should be hard for us to get uppity about ourselves as members of a community which Jesus defines as sinners, tax collectors and the sick. The church's holiness is the Physician's and His to give to her. The church is holy not because her members are not sinners, but because her Lord cleanses her from all sin and every fault.

 

Martin Luther

"Learn to open your eyes, to recognize the church, and to believe that it is holy. All wise men today are offended by this aspect of the church. Since reason hears that the church is holy and without spot, it thinks that Christians are spotless. Indeed, even Christians have a hard time coping with the occasions for offense in which they find themselves from time to time. They, too, draw the conclusion from their works: 'You are not so free from sin, therefore you are no Christian.' For that reason it is necessary to state here definitely what 'holy' means.
 
"The church is not called holy because it has no sin. Paul says (Rm 6:12), 'Do not let sin reign,' namely, 'that you obey it.' He confesses that there is sin and lust in Christians, and he admonishes them not to let sin reign. Therefore the church is holy, and it is called holy according to its first fruits, not according to its tithes and fullness. It is holy through faith in the name of Christ, in whom it has purity. This it does not have in itself, but because of His name it is holy. Sins lie hidden in the saints, but these are sins that have been brought into subjection, not sins that rule. From time to time they break forth, to be sure, so that even the saints are disturbed by impatience, sorrow, or despair. These are the desires of sin, but not its lordship. Although they attack me, I still lay hold of Christ. I stamp this impatience and sorrow under foot and hold in check the remnants of sin.
 
"The church, therefore, is holy in Christ, its head, and it is pure in Christ's name. It is not holy and pure in itself, in its hidden and roaring sins, which are like chained beasts roaring and threatening. For our sin is bound in chains and imprisoned. Indeed, it would like to be released from chains and be free, but we must battle against it. If the devil wants to cast you into sorrow and destroy faith, then rise up in faith and say to him: 'Go away, Satan, and be quiet. My Christ lives.'" 

Martin Luther, Commentary on Psalm 45, 45.6
 
Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, help me believe that I belong to the little band of sinners that You have called holy. Let me overlook the weaknesses and sins of my fellow confessors of Your name, granting forgiveness with the same generosity with which You have forgiven me. Amen.
 
For Aiden Scott Thallapally, who was baptized into Christ on Pentecost, that he would be kept in the life that he has been given by God the Holy Spirit through the Word of God
 
For moderate rainfall to bless the earth with fruitfulness and that those who are facing flood conditions would be kept safe by the Lord of heaven and earth
 
For those who undergo chemotherapy, that God would grant healing in accordance with His will
Art: DYCK, Anthony van  Pentecost (1618-1620)

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