Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Posted on July 2, 2024 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
Leave a comment
Scripture: St. Luke 14:25-35 (NKJV)
14:25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
34 “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The Scriptures use the words ‘hate’ and ‘love’ to indicate preferential treatment. For example, Genesis 29:30-31 (KJV) says that Rachel was loved by her husband and Leah was hated. Jacob did not hate Leah in the way we usually understand ‘hate’. He loved both of his wives. Leah was “hated” in comparison to her sister, since Jacob loved Rachel more than her.
In the same way, when Jesus teaches that we should “hate” our family, He is not saying that we should hate them in an absolute sense. Rather, He wants us to love Him more. If our kin should ever lead us astray from the faith, we should prefer to live at enmity with them rather than forsake being Jesus’ disciples.
As Christians, we have a new family. Our family is our brothers and sisters in Christ. If our natural kin hates us, we should be comforted by the fact that we are part of the community of saints. The Church holds many different blood lines, but we all share in the blood of Jesus which covers our sins.
This sort of community is beautifully displayed in the Virgin Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth’s house. While Mary and Elizabeth were actual blood-relatives, they especially rejoiced in their common faith in the Christ. “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43).
Collect: Almighty God, Who hast dealt wonderfully with Thy handmaiden, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and hast chosen her to be the mother of Thy Son, and hast graciously made known that Thou regardest the poor and the lowly and the despised: Grant us grace in all humility and meekness to receive Thy Word with hearty faith, and so to be made one with Thy dear Son; Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
O God, Who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment