Wisdom literature from the Proverbs gave directions to leaders and people for the conduct of daily life. The Scripture invites us to set aside our need to be noticed and our desire for approval. We are to live faithfully and work tirelessly not because it will speak well of us, but because it is the right thing to do and contributes something good to others. Humility, selflessness and sacrifice are their own reward and deeply a part of our Christian heritage.
The psalmist in Psalm 112 speaks encouragement to all who live their lives on the path of faith. They will be happy and content, undaunted by things that fill others with dread. They will not be shaken by darkness, fear by evil rumors, have shrinking hearts of faith, and the poor will be given to freely in such manner that the wicked will see it and be angry and their desires will perish. The righteous will be merciful and full of compassion. They know the power of God, even when it can not be seen.
A letter to the Hebrews contains suggestions for the conduct of holy life. Amid the frenzy of daily life, we have places to be, deadlines to meet and promises to keep. Many of us race through the day futilely trying to accomplish an impossible list of tasks. Sudden tragedy can awaken the deluded mind to the things that truly matter. Surprising grace can awaken us as well. God has to break through the lies we tell and are told about finding meaning and happiness in the things of life. God has to shake us to show us the meaning of real life.
From the Gospel of Luke 14: 1-14, Jesus uses to opportunity to teach his listeners to choose humility rather than self-exaltation. How often do we speak enjoyably of our accomplishments? Why is it easier to share success stories rather than the trials? How often do we try to justify or minimize our shortcomings? We either attempt to impress others or hide our faults from them. Jesus reminds us to humble ourselves, and in doing so, we will be exalted. Jesus also makes an appeal for hosts to mimic God’s gracious hospitality to the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Perhaps these individuals cannot repay you but you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
Whether friend or stranger, all people are welcome to worship at Good Shepherd Lutheran. The worship choices are the Contemporary Service at 8:30 a.m., the Adult Sunday School at 9:45 a.m., or the Traditional Service at 10:45 a.m. Pastor Wally and the congregation encourage your attendance.