Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany – Series C 

Last week’s sermon was a thoroughgoing exposition of good Law/Gospel Lutheran paradoxical preaching. That is great and needs to be done, but if Lutherans have a legitimate ding against them it is that too often we are happy to say that I am both sinner and saint and just leave it there. We are justly accused of being too passive. That is not always true, there are many Lutherans who are moved by their faith to do amazing work in God’s kingdom. But too many of us are fat suburbanites who waddle into church on Sunday and that is about it.

This Sunday calls us out into this world, to love even enemies. The world does not understand that love, but then it doesn’t understand the simul we talked about last week either. It doesn’t get God’s unconditional love for sinners. It only understands cancelling our enemies and the character assassination which it implies. But God looks upon our sin, our wretched wickedness and he does not destroy us as we deserve. He loves us instead. He sends his Son to die on a cross and we are saved.

That Love, which is Jesus himself, transforms our broken sinful lives into something which belongs in heaven and which reflects God’s very nature. The preacher will want to speak of this being our true humanity. The broken humanity which we have learned to cope with is in fact not our true humanity. To err is not human, to sin is not human, it is a terrible thing which has been wrought upon us by an evil enemy. Our true humanity is to love and live in a beautiful and perfect fellowship with one another.

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