Living the Lectionary is a weekly devotional tool intended to give you ideas for living out the Word of God that we encounter on Sundays in worship.
ABOUT THE WEEK STARTING June 12th: THE 4th Week after Pentecost
Overall Theme: Working out our sinfulness. Law: We recognize we are sinful, and our recognition leads us to want to do something about that, but there is nothing we can do that will free us from this recognition outside of the Gospel. Gospel: God can, and does, relieve our sinfulness and gives us forgiveness and justification in His Son.
REFLECTING ON THE READINGS
2 Samuel 11:26-12:14– You are the one . . . – God sends the prophet Nathan to point out David’s sin. Nathan points out the sin by appealing to David’s own beliefs about what is right and wrong, and in so doing, points out his hypocrisy. What are the hypocrisies that you might be blind to? How might God be sending people to point those things out to you? || David receives forgiveness but not the complete remediation of the consequences of sins. Have you or the devil fooled you into thinking that you are not forgiven because you still have to deal with the earthly consequence of some confessed and forgiven sin?
Psalm 32:1-7– Finding your confession – The Psalmist wrestles with the human experience of the acknowledgement and confession of sin. It is often difficult for us to come to the honest place of confession, but when we keep our confessions bottled up, our bones waste away. What are you having trouble confessing and coming to terms with in your life? Is God sending you a person or something in His Word that will help you find your confession? Has your own good sense of self become a greater god than the true God to you? Are you unable to confess because you fear how you will judge yourself? || The Psalmist finally finds relief, running to God who does not judge harshly, but forgives and restores. How might God relieve you of your sin today?
Galatians 2:15-21; 3:10-14 – Justifying our sins – At times, we believe that we can atone for our sins, pay for our sins, by doing good works. That is the temptation that the Galatians are falling into, the idea that through relying on “works of the Law”, a human being can pay for their sins and therefore justify themselves. This perspective, however, ultimately fails because it confuses me with God. It doesn’t let God be God, and ultimately cuts God out of dealing mercifully with me. This makes God, at best, a weapon that I can use to judge others and myself. How have you tried to pay for your own sins? Who has God become when you have tried to atone for your own sins? || Paul states that he has been crucified to himself, that he does not look to himself for his salvation anymore, but only to God. When he looks to himself, all he sees is a cross. How might you replace your tendencies to justify yourself with the cross? How might that free you?
Luke 7:36-8:3– He would have known – Simon the Pharisee is surprised that Jesus doesn’t seem to know that the woman in the story is a sinner – certainly something that God would know. Of course, God does know who the sinners are – they are all of us. It takes very little to know this, we certainly don’t need to be God to see the sins of others. What God does know, and what it is hard for us to know at times, is the status of the hearts of others. Jesus knows the heart of the woman in this story, and that is what makes and impression on him. We are the only ones who know our own hearts beside God. No one else can truly know our inner selves, just us and God. When God sees your inner self, what does He see? What is like that of Simon? What is like that of the woman? || Jesus tells a parable in which he explains that the worship of a forgiven sinner has greater love. How does the knowledge of your forgiveness lead your heart to love God? Jesus also points out that the love of a forgiven sinner is more attentive, just as the woman goes above and beyond what Simon should have done as a host. What attention does your forgiveness lead you to give to Jesus Christ and His Body?