Let's Share
Thursday of Epiphany 5
8 February 2018
The acknowledgement of substitutionary righteousness is a struggle for us. We figure that what belongs to another remains theirs. What is theirs is theirs, not ours. How wrong we are. We Christians are a community of hearts united in one Head who is Christ. We share with Him in His righteousness and holiness and He shares with us in our sinfulness and weakness, having become a human like us through His incarnation of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit.
We are one body under one Head. Not only are we connected with Christ by faith, but also with one another. We dare not seek to avoid our fellow Christian's need or our shared community with him or her. For it would be to avoid the needs of our own body, as though we could stop feeding and caring for it, or as though we could feed it Big Macs by the hundreds and not hurt it. So we share with Christ His righteousness because He grants it to us as a gift. If we can share in the possessions of God's Son, will we not also share in the joys and sorrows of His body? Vicariously, we suffer with those who suffer and rejoice with those who rejoice. It would be an odd thing indeed, if we could not also share in the joys and sorrows of our fellow members. What hurts them hurts us. What makes them rejoice, gives us joy.
It makes it impossible that we should be envious of the accomplishments of our fellows. Why envy what is ours? It is a spiritual schizophrenia if we envy what belongs to the body. To hate our fellow member or resent his success is to hate or resent ourselves. It is self-destructive. If we have received from Him, we will share with one another.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   John Chrysostom
"Here (2Co 1:13-14) Paul cuts the root of the envy that his speech might occasion, by making the Corinthians sharers and partners in the glory of his good works. 'For these remain not with us, but pass over to you also, and again from you to us.' For seeing that he had boasted of himself and produced proof of the past and given pledge for the future and lest his hearers should reflect on him for talking proudly, or, as I have said, be hurried into enviousness, he makes the rejoicing a shared one and declares that this crown of praise is also theirs. 'For if,' he says, 'we have shown ourselves to be praiseworthy, our praise is to your glory, just as when you also are honored, we rejoice and leap for joy and are crowned.'
"Here he displays his great humility by what he says. For he aims his expressions, not as a master discoursing to disciples, but as a disciple unto fellow-disciples of his own status. Observe how he lifts them and fills them with wisdom to send them on to the day of judgment. For he says, 'Tell me not of the present things, that is, the reproaches, the reviling, or the scoffing of the many. For the things of this life are of no great significance. The good, the painful, the scoffing, and the praises, which come from men in this life, are nothing. Instead, remember that day of fear and shuddering in the which all things are revealed. For then both we shall glory in you, and you in us. Then you shall be seen to have such teachers, who teach no doctrine of men, nor live in wickedness nor give any reason for accusation. Then we shall be seen to have disciples that are not affected after the manner of men, nor shaken, but that take all things with readiness of mind, and are not seduced by clever arguments from whichever side. And this is clear now to those that have understanding, but at the judgment it will be clear to all. So that even if we are afflicted now, we have this not inconsiderable consolation that the conscience affords now, which will be manifested at the judgment.
"For our conscience now knows that we do all things by the grace of God, as you also now know and shall know at the judgment. But then, all men as well will learn both our works and yours, and shall behold us glorified through each other. So that he may not appear himself alone to derive luster from this glorying, Paul gives the Corinthians also the reason for his boasting, that is, to lead them away from their present distresses. He did the same thing with respect to consolation when he said, 'If we are comforted, it is for your comfort' (2Co 1:6). So he does also here, saying, 'we boast on your account, as you also on ours,' everywhere making them partakers of everything, of his comfort, his sufferings, and his preservation. For his preservation he ascribes to their prayers. 'For God delivered us, while you were helping together by prayer' (2Co 1:11). Likewise, he shares the boasting. For as in that place he says, 'Knowing that you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer' (2Co 1:6), so here too, 'You will boast of us as we will boast of you' (2Co 1:14)."

John Chrysostom, Homilies on 2 Corinthians, 3.2
Psalm 133

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. (ESV)
Lord Jesus Christ, by being the Head of the church, You have shared all good things with us, Your body. Keep us in the true faith that we might always acknowledge and repose quietly in Your headship. Strengthen us in our reception of all the joys and sorrows that befall our fellow members that we might sorrow with those who experience sorrow, and rejoice with those to whom You have granted joy. Amen.

For Sophia Grace Benton, that she would grow and gain strength in her body, to serve her heavenly Father all her days
For the members of the LCMS Council of Presidents, that they would be kept safe while traveling home from meetings
For Isaac Johnson, who is suffering from gall bladder problems, that the Creator would grant him the gifts of modern medicine and healing
Art: DAVID, Gerard  Triptych of Jean Des Trompes (1505)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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