“Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11
“Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
Robert Frost wrote a poem about Silas, a hired man who shows up at the home of his former employers, John and Mary (”Death of a Hired Man”). John complains about Silas’ poor work habits but Mary is concerned for Silas. In their dialogue John says, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” We’re not always very “homey” toward others. We take in our children and welcome friends but strangers and those we deem different from ourselves, who don’t measure up, not so much.
God is our forever home. He takes us in. Not because we have been good workers – we could never measure up – but because of God’s steadfast love. Sunday we will celebrate Reformation, the realization that God’s forgiveness and a place in Heaven is not something money can buy; nor can we earn it through any work of our own. Yet we can ask for mercy boldly, confident in God’s unfailing grace. “Sin boldly. But believe even more boldly in Christ, and rejoice.”
Last Sunday we heard the story of Bartimaeus and were reminded of the many, hurting in body and spirit, social outcasts and undesirables, who boldly asked Jesus for healing. Jesus saw their distress and took them into his care. The everyday person, however infirm, however little he/she possesses, who is committed to justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with God is all that is required.
Gracious God, You take us as we are. Humble in our guilt and failures, we boldly ask your forgiveness, trusting in your mercy and grace. Grant us wisdom and courage, and compassion to help others in their time of need. In the name of Jesus, who loves us unto death, we pray. Amen