Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The theme of our readings is the value of humility, which is the reverse of selfishness and pride. Selfishness is to think about ourselves and forget the needs of others. It is no sin to rejoice in our successes in this life, such as the football championship. If it is a sin to put ourselves on top of everything else, to disparage others, to seek to deceive others, to gain the advantage in a dishonest way, and not to show respect to those who deserve it.
The way of this world is to seek the favor of the rich and powerful. Not everyone is equal in this world, because some people have much more resources, more advantages of others. For us, those who believe in Christ, the way of life is not to show partiality to those who have more, but to seek justice for all.
In addition, there are many ethnicities in the world, many languages, other differences among men. In a sense, we must respect and enjoy differences, because all have value in the eyes of God.
This is creation, the kingdom of God's power. In the kingdom of His grace, there is no difference. We are all the same. In the gospels for today (Luke 14: 1-11), the Lord says thus:
"When you are invited by one to a wedding, do not sit in the first place, lest one other honored be invited by him, and the one who called you and he will come and say to you, then start with shame to have the ultimate place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the last place; for when the one who called you comes, say to you, Friend, go upstairs; then you will have glory before those who sit down together at the table. "
It is better to receive what we do not deserve than to claim what we do not deserve and lose honor. In the kingdom of grace, all receive salvation by the mercy of God, not by their merits. "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. "Those who enter into the presence of God seeking the first seat will find judgment, but those who enter into humility will receive the mercy of God.
By nature, we are enemies of God, blind, deaf, dead in our sins. However, God loves us and sent his only Son to suffer and die for all. We are all in the same spiritual state apart from God. Also, we are all clothed in the righteousness of Christ, in His blood covering all sin, in holy baptism.
Therefore, the Lord says in our text, "One body, and one Spirit; as you are also called to the same hope of your vocation: One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all things, and through all things, and in all of you. "
There is only one name given to men for salvation: Jesus Christ. The only faith is faith in Christ, He of the Bible, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Promised One of Israel. Only a baptism in which we receive the gift of faith by the work of the Holy Spirit. If we have received water with the Word of God, that is, the promise of salvation in Christ, we should not be rebaptized. Because there is no Lutheran baptism or Catholic baptism, but a baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in which all Christians believe.
Then, we must approach God's throne in all humility, recognizing that we do not deserve to be in the presence of God. We should also show humility in our relationships with others, especially with our brethren in the faith. We must show others the same mercy that God has shown us. For the promise of baptism is sure, and in this we have peace, which surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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