Saturday, November 19, 2011

Psalm 118:19-29, Daniel 1:1-21, Matthew 28:1-20 - Lectionary for 11/20/11

Today's readingsa re Psalm 118:19-29, Daniel 1:1-21, and Matthew 28:1-20. Lutherans talk a lot about distinguishing between Law and Gospel. We remember that the Law is that which we do and the Gospel is what God has done for us. I've been working with the idea that the very same situation may be both Law and Gospel. There's an example in today's reading from Matthew. The Law, because it places demands upon us, serves to condemn us. We see by the clear word of God that we have not kept the demands God has made. At the tomb, when Jesus has been raised, the angels appear to the soldiers who become like dead men in their presence. They are confronted by God's Law. They had a job to do, keep Jesus in the tomb. They were unable to do it. They have failed and they know their penalty before their government is death. Confronted by the glory of God and their failure, they are unable to function. Yet what happens in the same situation when the women are confronted by the resurrection and the angels? Certainly they are terrified. Angels are fearsome! But they realize this is very good news for them. On their behalf, Jesus has risen from the dead. They have the best of all possible good news to bring to the apostles. And they were favored over the apostles as they received the news first! The same situation is Law for some, Gospel for others. Is the Gospel truly Gospel for us? Are we freed by the works of God? Or are we condemned because we end up seeing our sin? May the Lord grant us repentance an belief that the Gospel may always be Gospel indeed.

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