For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10, ESV
This beginning to Paul’s letter is a great reminder of how tempting it can be for people of the Church to desire to modify to Gospel to make it fit a certain mindset. Yet, we are to be mindful of the Gospel given to us clearly within the Bible and not to turn from and ignore those portions that make us uncomfortable. We are to struggle and wrestle with those areas of contention that will arise within our hearts and stand fast in the Word. For Paul, it would have been easier for him to go along with the Jewish Christians and allow for the faith practices of the past to be inserted into the faith, but he stood firm with what Christ had given to him and placed in his heart. We, too, are to be mindful of the Gospel given to us that is presented from Genesis to Revelation as we read the unfolding work of God to restore His creation. The flood that cleansed the earth is relived in the waters of Baptism that cleanse our souls. The sacrifices of the unblemished lambs for the forgiveness of the people’s sins to the sacrifice of THE unblemished lamb of God who took upon Himself the sins of all people for all time. In this Gospel, we are to stand firm and steadfast, knowing that our God is firm and steadfast. The Gospel will offend the consciences of those who feel that they are righteous in their own doing, but those that are humbled will be lifted up. Let us be careful in knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not for sale, and we are not a “have it your way faith.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ is transformative and stands against the things of this world that are full of messiness and brokenness, but with the Word, we bring order to chaos and restoration to the broken, for the Word is hope to people that are caught up in hopelessness because the promise of our Lord stands firm.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.