Good morning everyone:
“I’m ashamed.” When was the last time you heard someone admit that? When did you last say it? It’s not a popular thing to acknowledge. Even when someone is obviously at fault, shame is rarely expressed. Instead, a person may become defensive and assert their right to do whatever they like. Someone may try to pass the blame off on their spouse, employer, the government, or society in general for the way they are or for what they did. In today’s world rather than be ashamed of sin, it’s flaunted. People boast about the wrong they’ve done and how they got away with it, whether it’s “fooling” Mom and Dad, cheating on a spouse, or being dishonest at work. Abolishing any trace of shame is seen as a good thing, because it preserves self-esteem.
But what many don’t understand or don’t care about is that getting rid of shame does not get rid of the sin or its punishment. Whether a person is ashamed or not doesn’t alter God’s decree that “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). On the last day there will be many sentenced to the eternal fire of hell because they felt they had no reason for shame. They denied they had done anything wrong. They denied any need for a Savior from sin, and Jesus says, “Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matt. 10:33).
Not just some, but all of us have need to be ashamed. We have sinned against the holy God. Ezra’s prayer needs to be ours as well: “O my God, I am too ashamed to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens” (Ezra 9:6). Shame is a good thing. It humbles us and makes us realize how unworthy we are. It prepares our hearts to receive God’s healing love in Christ Jesus. “A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).
So today, instead of pretending that we have no reason for shame, let’s go to the Lord and freely confess that we have failed miserably in living up to His will for us. Let’s pray with the tax collector, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” And let’s look to the coming Savior for comfort and peace. For He came to take all our shame upon Himself, that we might be ready to welcome His return on the last day with joy as His redeemed people.
Tomorrow’s sermon text (Matt. 3:1-12) is John the Baptist’s call to repent of sin and prepare the way for the King and His kingdom-rule in hearts by faith.
The first Christmas Eve rehearsal for the children begins at 9:30 tomorrow. The adult Bible class will meet in the multi-purpose room. Mr. Quade will give an overview of the CLC Kinship program.
Our annual caroling begins at 4 p.m. We’ll meet at church for a warmup and then visit an assisted living center and nursing home before returning to church for supper. Bring your favorite chili and Christmas treats. Everyone is welcome!
Remember Mr. Enno Gerbitz in your prayers. He is hospitalized at Waukesha Memorial for treatment of pneumonia.
See you tomorrow,