THE WEEK OF TRINITY VII – FRIDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 12:1-8
Christ … suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
In the Gospels, we are taught both faith and love. Christ is portrayed to us from two viewpoints: from the viewpoint of faith, that we should repose our whole faith and trust in Him and not indulge in anxious care and worry; and from the viewpoint of love. Just as He does to us in His concern for us, feeding us, giving us drink, and clothing us out of free love alone—and not just to be useful to us or as a reward for our merits—so also, we should do good freely to our neighbors, so that, just as He is Christ for us, we should also be Christ for them.
Here we see that many of the works performed in times past by the religious are vain and even damned. For they were not performed in the interests of the neighbor, but for the sole reason of piling up personal merits before God.
True Christian works must never be done with any ulterior motive; they must always be quite free, so that they redound to our neighbor’s welfare and are a completely free gift to him. They are, so to say, thrown into a common pool from which anyone can draw.
This is what Christ Himself did. He threw all His benefits into a common pool. He gave His doctrine, Word, and life to the congregation as His free gift to them. Blessed are those who accept this gift of Christ with thanksgiving.
SL 11:1372 (15-16)
PRAYER: Shine in our darkened hearts and lives with Your Holy Spirit, Lord Jesus, that we may learn to love others as You have loved us, and that, as You are Christ for us, we may also be Christ for them. Grant us this for Your mercy, truth, and love’s sake. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:202-210.