Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 18, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 13:1-9 (NKJV)
13:1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’”
Solomon teaches us, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18) Pride can also be the result of witnessing others fall into destruction. It is the temptation of the flesh to think of oneself as better—or at least less sinful—than others. In every age there are people who suffer great tragedies, nations that suffer from terrible disasters, and churches that suffer inwardly from spiritual collapse. When we see these things happen, we naturally conclude that someone’s sins caused these things to happen, and we might even say within ourselves like the self-righteous Pharisee, “‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men!” (Luke 18:11).
But Christ teaches us all godly humility by pointing out that unless we repent of our own sins, we will perish as surely as the most grievous sinners. It is easy to point out the sins of others. It is a much harder thing to confess our own. But we must do this if we do not want to suffer the consequences of our misdeeds. We will not be judged for the sins of others but “Each one shall bear his own load.” (Gal. 6:4-5) Thus, St. Paul writes, “Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” On the Last Day, let us find our own work built not upon our pride but on the mercy of Christ to us poor sinners!
Prayer: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit, that being ever mindful of the end of all things, and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; 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.

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