March 4, 2009 - Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 8:13-9:17; St. Mark 4:1-20

He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have, He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends from all danger and protects me from all evil. All this he does out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true.” (First Article, Apostle’s Creed)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen. “My clothes. My shoes. My food. My drink. My touchdown. My home run. My girl. My boy. My son. Mine. Mine. Mine. It’s always about what we have.

Now wait a minute! Yours, yours, yours? Did you get your clothes for yourself? Your shoes? Your food? Your drink? Are you sure?

All that stuff has come to you as a gift. Your body, soul, eyes, ears--all gifts. Your job, your sweetheart, your life--all gifts from a heavenly Father who always knows just the right gift to give to you. All that you have, all that you are, and all that you will be, comes as a gift from your Father who gives Christ-gifts all year long.

You didn’t earn His gifts. No way. You didn’t earn them even if you worked for them. His gifts come, all of them, as gifts from God. Given not because you deserve them, but despite what you deserve.

And if we truly believed this with our whole heart, it would scare us to death! Would you do what you do with what He has given you if you remembered that it was from Him? Would you covet what isn’t yours and take what isn’t given to you, if you remembered that the Father would have given them to you if you really, truly needed them.

Fast this Lenten Season from that “Mine mine mine” life. And when you do, that’s the Father’s good work, too! He saves you, not by what you do, but what His Son did for you. Not your worthiness, but Christ’s worthiness. Not your merit, but the merits of Christ in your place.

Receiving His gifts is your highest service to God. Then, forgiven and with your hands full of His gifts, there is no more “Mine, mine, mine.” No, now use what’s “yours” in service of those around you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

We ought, therefore, daily to practicethis article, impress it upon our mind, and to remember it in all that meets our eyes, and in all good that falls to our lot, and wherever we escape from calamity or danger, that it is God who gives and does all these things, that therein we sense and see His paternal heart and His transcendent love toward us. Thereby the heart would be warmed and kindled to be thankful, and to employ all such good things to the honor and praise of God.” (LC II, Art. 1).