Saturday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Posted on November 17, 2018 byunder
Scripture: Hebrews 12:18-29 (NKJV)
12:18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
The writer of Hebrews bids you to realize where you are and to what you have been called. A clear view of these things transforms your understanding of what true religion is.
You have not been brought to Mt. Sinai as the seat of your religion. Indeed, the Children of Israel had not first been brought to such, either. In Abraham they had been brought to a promise, to a treaty, to the sacrament of that treaty (circumcision). In Moses they had been brought to a deliverance given them with no merit of their own. Only after this are they brought into the presence of Yahweh at Sinai to understand that the holy God had called them to be His own and to be like Him, with the holy attributes—the holy thoughts, words, and deeds—that are listed in the Decalogue.
Yet, because the atoning sacrifice of God the Son had not yet been made, the people could not endure the holy presence of God. He gave them a land to be the place where He would reign over His people on Earth, but it could always be taken from them—as, indeed, it was, more than once—because of their sin. They did not remain mindful of the only remedy for their sin and flee for deliverance again to the grace of God by which alone they had been delivered, to the Christ who would finally make atonement for them.
We pray: Almighty and Merciful Triune God, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken—the heavenly Jerusalem—grant us Your grace, that we may always flee from our sins and find refuge in the blood and righteousness of Jesus, that we may serve You acceptably with reverence and godly fear, to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.