Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday in Pentecost, Proper 11: They despaired of themselves

Opening Sentence
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Psalm 43:3

Almighty God, heavenly Father, who set the solitary in families: We thankfully remember before you this day the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and we humbly entrust to your never-failing care the homes in which your people dwell; that we may be made true members of the heavenly family of your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

The disciples were men who had been led to despair of themselves. At the beginning of their three years' class of instruction they had to give up all they possessed; but it was only at the end of that time that they began to give up themselves. They had given up their nets, their homes, their friends--and that was right; but all the three years how strong self was! But they could not understand Him. Time after time there was contention among them as to who should be chief. At the supper table they were still talking about that--who will be first amongst us? They had not given up self. As was made manifest more than once, how little they lived in the Spirit of Jesus.

But Christ taught them and trained them. He revealed to them, time after time, what the sin of pride is, and what the glory of humility is, and when He died upon the cross, they died a terrible death too. Think of Peter, the impetuous disciple, having denied his Lord. Do not you think that in all the sorrows of those three days, from the crucifixion day to the resurrection day, the deepest and the bitterest was this--shame at the thought of how he had treated his Lord? Then he learned to despair of himself. At the supper table how self-confident he had been! "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I!" But Jesus took him down with Him into death and the grave, and then Peter felt that there was in him, indeed, no good thing. He had learned to despair of himself.

Andrew Murray
Daily Thoughts on Holiness

Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners