Devotions for the Week of February 5, 2017

 Meditation for the Week of February 5, 2017

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

Isaiah 58:7-9

 

They don’t call it the “Sunday Best” for no reason. On Sundays, in many places, people get dressed up in their nicest clothes. They come with their smiles, their families, and their news about all the wonderful things that are happening in their lives. They sing songs of devotion to Christ, learn about his love for us through the cross, and pledge to love and to serve each other.

But what happens once they take off their Sunday best? If you’re like all sinful people, our promises on Sunday mornings come off with our ties and dress shoes. We fail to do what Isaiah is talking about: love and serve the people around us. He tells God’s people that obedience to God’s call is not just about coming to worship. It’s about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving shelter to those who need. God wants us to love and to serve each other.

That is what Jesus did for us. He did not just dwell in heaven, satisfied that he and his Father had perfect communion. He saw our lost condition, our need for a savior, and he came down from heaven to become a servant. He served us to the point of death on the cross. His love is now poured into our lives when he gives us eternal life through his word and sacraments.

Isaiah was telling Israel that God’s mercy did not come to them, because their worship was empty. They followed other Gods. They did not help the poor. They broke God’s covenant. But that is not how God deals with us. Jesus’ obedience is ours. He worshiped on the true God. He helped us, the poor and needy. He obeyed God perfectly for us.

So we need not fear his anger. But we also live to serve others the way Jesus served us. So, when you return to your home from worship, remember the love that Christ has given you and how he served you on the cross. Keep living your “Sunday best” during the rest of the week. Serve the people around you. Love those whom you meet. Remember the life and light that Christ brings to you, and live that way for others.           

Our Weekly Prayer 

Please consider praying this prayer as part of your daily prayers.

Heavenly Father,

Your grace comes to us through Jesus Christ, who took the form of a servant and died on the cross for us. Stir up our hearts to love each other as he loved us, so that we may reflect his love to others. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen