Nov 3, 2020
(Phil.2:12-18; Ps.27:1,4,13-14; Lk.14:25-33)
“Work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation.”
Strive we must always to attain the kingdom of God, setting our hearts on salvation alone, and trusting in the Lord all the while.
“If one of you decides to build a tower, will he not first sit down and calculate the outlay?” And do you think the outlay for being a follower of Christ is any less important to consider? For what is required of the soul on the path to the kingdom is nothing less than all he owns, and the work involved is the laying down of his very life. And so we must be prepared; and so we must act with conviction, to dispel any “fear of laying the foundation and then not being able to complete the work.”
It certainly cannot be said of St. Paul, “That man began to build what he could not finish,” for he states with absolute conviction to his beloved Philippians, “Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you.” He is prepared to die to accomplish the work the Lord has set for him, and he shall. But he witnesses the fruit of his efforts: “As I look to the day of Christ, you give me cause to boast that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose.” In his disciples he sees the faith he has planted grow. And now throughout all the earth do his words go forth, bearing the fruit of Christ among all who listen.
And so, brothers and sisters, set your hearts on accomplishing the work the Lord places before you. Let no doubt or fear cause you to stumble on the way. Proclaim with David, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” Have this same confidence and commitment to His grace. For “it is God who, in His good will toward you, begets in you any measure of desire or achievement.” It is His work you do and so He will surely bless it. Know that your King is able to do battle with any enemy, that none holds any sway over Him, and be as He is, giving yourselves entirely to His mission, His cause. And you shall “gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate His temple”; and you shall certainly achieve your salvation. Onward, soldiers of the Lord.
O LORD, help us to renounce the things of this world
and come into your Temple, into your presence,
and there remain all our days –
accomplish your work in us.
YHWH, you are our light and our salvation; it is you who beget in us any desire for you and your kingdom. And it is you who bring this desire to fulfillment, if we but work to achieve it.
Help us, O LORD, to know the way you call us and prepare us to walk your way without fear, without hesitation. In you we take our courage, for you are great and care greatly for our welfare. It is your bounty alone we desire, and so you will bring us to your House where we may gaze on your face in holy light.
What need we but to dwell with you, O LORD? What of this world could keep us from coming to you? Help us to renounce all else but your holy presence; even our lives let us lay down in service of you. And we shall find our salvation, despite the darkness all around.
It is you who defend us in battle, LORD; it is you who build our house. May we carry our cross with your Son this day, and so be blessed with confidence in your kingdom.