Saturday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Peter 5:1-5 (NKJV)
5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
“Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.”
God resists the proud. That’s not hard to understand. Pride would glorify self, dismiss all correction, and lay claim to greatness. All non-Christian religions, and many corruptions of the Christian faith, accommodate pride. They say, “here are the rules; keep them, and you may take pride in your own goodness, and God (or the gods) will recognize your goodness too.”
The Law of God shows us that we are poor, miserable sinners. Not much room for pride in that! Rather, the Law humbles us. Humility is not so much a discipline as it is a simple recognition: according to the Law of God I have no room for anything but humble repentance. God responds to that repentant faith in Christ Jesus with grace: grace that forgives our sins; grace that leads us to seek to live up to the holiness we already have in Christ Jesus as a gift.
With this clear eyed understanding both of who we are all by ourselves, and who we are now that the grace of God has laid hold of us, we are admonished to submit to one another, to deal with one another as fellow sinners who are also fellow recipients of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
We pray: O Lord God, by Your grace, keep me from thinking of myself more highly than I ought. Grant me rather to be Your emissary of mercy to my fellow sinners, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.