January 3, 2021

The Perfect Offering

If we want to see where perfection and mercy meet in Jesus Christ, the best place to look is the table where he offers himself completely in a holy Supper
If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 
Isaiah 58:10
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us to be perfect because God is perfect. But in the similar but lesser-known Sermon on the Plain, he told us to be merciful as God is merciful. Luke's version probably sounds better to most of us. But if we translate Matthew a bit differently, I think we can approach it differently: Be complete as God is complete. That's what the original Greek really says. Think of how complete and perfect mean the same thing in the expressions "perfect stranger" and "complete stranger."

If we want to see where the Sermon on the Mount's perfection and the Sermon on the Plain's mercy meet in Jesus Christ, the best place to look is the table where he offers himself completely in the holy Supper. "This is my body, this is my blood," he says; "When you do this, remember me." If I would have wholeness by following in the footsteps of the One in whose image I was created, I also need to give of myself to those who are hungry, lost, or alone. Belief that involves no sharing makes me an incomplete Christian—an imperfect disciple.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
 Luke 6:36
After thinking about today's devotion pray these hymn lyrics:
I hunger and I thirst;
Jesus, my manna be!
O living waters, burst
out of the rock for me!

O bruised and broken Bread,
my sustenance now give.
As living souls are fed,
feed me, that I may live.
 John S.B. Monsell, alt. (1866)
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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