As Lutherans we have something about which we can boast. It is, oddly enough, the fact that we cannot boast. We have received all that we have from the hand of God, especially faith and salvation. It is not by works lest we boast. For we already boast much in what we have; be they a Nintendo Wii, nice car, Fiancee, wife, house, home, even all that we have.
All these come from Him who gives to all creation. Giving entails gift, and he gifts all of creation with all that it needs in due season. He has, however, given us a greater gift in His Son. This gift God sent in the fullness of time, and gives to us in many and various ways, and this Jewel of God’s crown frees us from the boastfulness which we may have in all that God has given us, because He has provided for everyone.
All this is without any merit or worthiness that is in us. We were dead, and God had to gift us with life itself. For we did not have the reason or strength to come to Faith. So the Holy Spirit calls us in Baptism, calls us to a new life, calls us to be sons of the Father, and brothers of the Son.
We, though, are very forgetful; just like those without reason. We go do as WE would like. Boasting in our things or deeds, ignoring our sins or ignoring their repercussions, and in all these things Satan tricks us. He tricks us to go away from God – the one who has given the things and deeds, and forgiven the sins and removed the repercussion, namely, death.
We trust this. We know that Satan’s accusations cannot compare to our Baptismal grace, we know that when our Pastor pronounces forgiveness that it is Christ who forgives, and we know that we receive Christ’s body and blood into our own bodies for the forgiveness of sins.
Satan is very wily, and even with all this earnest belief and trust he just needs to remind us of that one sin. And we despair, and then he gently whispers "This can’t honestly be for you. Remember what you’ve done…" And we believe his little lie. Well, it’s not a small lie if it gets us to doubt, but the Gospel has come to people such as us. It comes to us in spite of what we’ve done – without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this and much more I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.