Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 Nothing makes sense!
Everything is nonsense.
I have seen it all—
nothing makes sense!
3 What is there to show
for all of our hard work
here on this earth?
4 People come, and people go,
but still the world
Ecc 1:2-4 (CEV_
12 But the Scriptures teach that if we piled together all the works of all the monks, no matter how precious and dazzling they might appear, they would not be as noble and good as if God were to pick up a straw
Heaven too is a gift and a glory, not a payment. All talk of merit and law and obedience—necessary as it is on earth—will disappear in Heaven, except perhaps as a joke.
There are days when one wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Then there are days when one wakes up, finds out the bed is upstairs still, and that somehow they have woken up at the bottom of the stairs. (though the idea is figurative, the body aches make one wonder if it is reality!)
And the day proceeds to get worse.
Devotions do not always help, as you see clearly in the first two readings above. One thinks, well we’ve escaped the tedious nature of Job, only to come across Solomon in a grand funk. His heart isn’t soaring; in fact, it seems like it is plunging into the abyss. Luther doesn’t help as his cry indicates everything mankind does for God is about as meaningful as picking up a dried weed.
So how do we keep going? How do we handle the pervasive emptiness and meaninglessness of life that seems our destiny under COVID? We can’t keep up with the changes, we struggle to make things work, workplaces are shutting down, or reducing hours of valuable employees…
This brings us to the third quote…
I think some of us, no matter how well we know scripture, still feel like we have to be valuable to the world to be valuable to God. That our value, our success, our ability to please everyone in life directly affects whether we matter to God. That our view our perception of our value to our families and workplaces isn’t accurate is another story. We simply believe that our perceived value here is reflective of how God does not care.
Our minds, our theological knowledge, may agree and confess that we get to heaven by grace, but our hearts and souls are breaking at the same time – and they feel otherwise.
We are, in a way, right, our merit, our value is not enough to meet a standard to enter heaven. That is if there was such a standard.
There is no such standard.
Heaven is a gift, given by One who values us and loves us more profoundly than we can perceive. It is a glorious thing this love, the desire of God to have us as HIs companions, as His beloved children.
That is where our value comes from, the fact we are loved, that we are treasured by God Almighty. So treasured that God gave up His Son to show all creation what He knows of us. That we are worth saving.
Even when we get up on the wrong side of the bed….or at the foot of the stairs.
God is with you… when things seem the worse.. cry out to him. AMEN!
Theodore G. Tappert, ed., The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959), 438.
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 34.