In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. (Psalm 44:* from the Introit for Sexagesima)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What do you boast about? Your batting average? Your DVD collection? How many gigs of space you have on your iPod? Your driving skills? Your good-looking boyfriend or girlfriend? Boasting means you're not just proud of what you have, you want everyone to know it's better than what they have. Boasting is a certain confidence that whatever you're bragging about won't let you down. Well, those boasts only last until you break up, or back into the garage, or strike out. But there is one good kind of boasting: Boasting in the Lord and what He has done.
If your church uses the Historic (or “One Year) series of Scripture readings on Sundays, these “gesima” Sundays count us down to Lent. Lent is a long time—six weeks. And the focus often times wrongly falls on us: what we are giving up, how terribly sinful we are, how sad we should be because of our sins. The Introit for tomorrow's worship reminds us, as we get closer to Lent and prepare for that holy season, that it's NOT ABOUT US!
Christians boast in the Lord. We talk about what HE has done. We live by what HE has accomplished. We have forgiveness by what HE gives us. Go ahead: Boast in Jesus! Boast that He has died for the sins of the world! Brag that your Baptism does what you could never do—get you into God's family. Boast that the meal of Christ's body and blood never runs out! Boast in Jesus, whose name means “The Lord saves.” The more you stop talking about yourself and the more you say what Jesus has done the better. That's true and genuine boasting.
Tomorrow you will go to the Divine Service to boast. But not because you are worthy or have done some great thing. You are boasting in the Lord, who has shown the world mercy and grace, taken away our sins, and made us His own children. It's all about Him. It's the only boasting that works! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Thy work alone, O Christ, Can ease this weight of sin; Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, Can give me peace within. (LSB 567:3)