So what is it, or more importantly, who is it that you look up to? Do you aspire to be a person who is looked up to?
Last week and through last weekend, the readings had a lot to do with confession, coming clean with ourselves and those who we encounter.
Last Tuesday: His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?
Last Wednesday: Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
Last Thursday: Thus says the LORD: This is what I commanded my people: Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.
Last Friday: Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
Last Saturday1: Come, let us return to the LORD, it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence.
Last Saturday2: Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.
Last Saturday3: But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
Last Sunday1: All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah: “Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled.”
Last Sunday2: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God;
it is not from works, so no one may boast.
Last Sunday3: Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
I know that’s a lot of quotes to get to my theme for today, but again, who is it that you look up to? A friend, a co-worker, your Pastor? Albert Pujols? Yadier Molina? Take a second to think about this…I’ll ask again – who is it you should look up to? Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Look up to Christ. Look up to a the perfect Son of God who died on that cross not for His sins, not for His wrongs – but He suffered and died for my sins; the wrong that I have done. Look at all those quotes from last week and hear what God is saying to all of us. Ask for forgiveness for your wrongs but more than that, FORGIVE all who have wronged you. I know it is not an easy task to get ourselves into the confessional and freely admit we are sinners in need of forgiveness. But I’m telling you from experience, it is that much more difficult to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged me; to just “let it go”. When we “look up” and see Jesus on that Cross – we are taught the true meaning of forgiveness. We see a Man who was willing to die to teach us that forgiveness is the ultimate sacrifice. We learn that from forgiveness, death comes to life again.
So now I ask you – are you someone who desires to be “looked up” to? Am I? If we answer yes to this, then we must follow the example that Christ gave us. We must learn to forgive all who have wronged us. We must be willing to die in order that their sins can be forgiven – not mine, not yours. If we are willing to die to offer them that forgiveness, then we too – as heirs to the Kingdom – bring life to others through our death to self. That is one tall order; I pray I have the courage to live a life that others “look up” to.
Do something great for our Lord today – forgive someone who has wronged you. Breathe “life” back into that “dead” relationship and share in the true joy of what forgiveness offers.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.
But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.