Today is the commemoration of C.F.W. Walther, theologian.
Today's readings are Psalm 106.16-23, Exodus 32.1-14, and Luke 6.20-38.
God boldly calls his people to follow him, trusting that he is able to care for them according to his good mercy. Why then do we turn away so quickly? Why do we doubt? The people of Israel, when they were confronted with the great mercy of their God, busied themselves about making a golden calf to represent the God who cannot be represented in images. At the same time that God was writing a command against idols, the people at the foot of the mountain were making an idol. We depart from our Lord's ways quickly.
Jesus gives us very concrete things to do. Maybe his words in Luke 6 can help us focus ourselves. If we busy ourselves about loving our enemies, doing good to those who hate us, blessing people, giving to the poor, and pursuing all manner of good - maybe if we are diligent about these things we will not be so quick to run into the folly of idolatry. Then again, maybe we will. After all, we are quite able to exalt ourselves as little gods as opposed to the true God. We are quite able to give ourselves all the glory for our good works.
In the end we see that the goodness of God leads us to repentance. He calls us to a living faith, one which is not in ourselves or our deeds, but in his work on our behalf. Jesus has given himself, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Let us look to him, trusting that he is able to sustain us in every way even as he works through us to love and serve our neighbors.