Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Call Reversed

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save them from those who would condemn them to death. - Psalm 109:31

Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. - Hebrews 2:11

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 119:129-136; 2 Samuel 22:26-23:17; John 11:17-30

Today is the All Saints Day on the church calendar. Traditionally, it's a day to remember the faithful who have died. But in good Reformation spirit, I always like to remember that we are all saints, just as we are all sinners. Today's scriptures highlight how God is ready to stand beside those in any need - and that in the big picture, we are all in need of grace and mercy as we miss the mark of living the way God intends.

By God's grace, in Christ, we are not only forgiven, but also called - while we're still sinners - to be a part of the holy work of God in the world. In fact, there is a "great reversal" with God, in which people who are proud and powerful are humbled, and those who are humble are delivered and lifted up. David's song in 2 Samuel 22:28 echoes this, and Jesus' words in John's gospel deliver it as a promise: "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

The "great reversal" is still going strong in our time. Whatever we have going against us, God is with us to get us through it. When we're judged, by the world's standards, to be insignificant or unworthy, God reverses that call - and calls us to be a part of God's upside-down, inside-out way of life. Sinners that we all are, we are also all saints, made holy by God's righteousness and grace, and given a place of continuing importance and value in God's house. 

Thank you, God, for this message of grace; for your solidarity with us and with all who are in need; and for your call that transforms ordinary sinners into your saints.

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