Trinity 4 (Lk 6:36-42)

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

“Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing into your lap.”

INI + AMEN.

That’s how God is toward you. It’s what He does for you. Always more with Him. He can never run out of giving. He gives more and more and more! And we’re not even talking the gifts of creation—1st Article, daily bread sort of stuff. Things like clothing, food, drink, house, “everything you need to support your body and life.” No, we’re talking about His Gifts that redeem you and make you holy.

The Lord is “compassionate and merciful.” He doesn’t judge. He doesn’t condemn. He saves. He “forgives iniquity and transgression and sin.” He pardons, declares innocent. He gives and gives and gives of His mercy, His love, His forgiveness, His salvation in Jesus Christ. There’s nothing He likes giving more than that! There’s nothing He likes more than saving you, forgiving you, delivering salvation to you.

There’s no calculation in the Lord’s giving. There’s no measurement. No recipe. No pinch of this. No dash of that. He’d be a terrible baker. No, when He gives, He gives the whole lot. With everything He gives He says, “Push it down, shake it together, make room for more. Fill it to full—past full! Overflowing, now that’s enough. Even still, keep giving more!” That’s what your Father’s after.

What’s the Father pouring forth? What’s He unendingly give? What overflows? Well, He’s merciful, compassionate, after all, and so He’s pouring forth His not judging, His not condemning, His pardoning, and His giving. And you can sum that all up in one word: forgiveness. His forgiveness in His Son Jesus. His Son’s death. His Son’s resurrection.

His Son gives yet more Gifts—His Word and His Sacraments. And those not only deliver forgiveness, not only deliver salvation, but they’re the Means of the Spirit. Jesus’ Gifts give the Spirit to you, and with the Spirit even more gifts! “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.” More and more and more.

Any calculation, any limit, any recipe comes from unfaith, unbelief, rejecting the Lord with His Gifts. The way of unfaith says how much of the Lord is too much. Unbelief says, “You can have too much Jesus, too much forgiveness.” Someone who doesn’t want to learn from Jesus determines what someone must do to be forgiven and given to. You know how your coworker, family member, church member messed up, wrong you, and what they need to do, don’t you?

Those who bypass Teacher Jesus think they know the proper remedy when they see the speck in a brother’s eye. They know what recipe is needed to get the proper result, which is someone living the way you want them to—proper proportions of judgment, condemnation, and maybe a dash of forgiveness at the end. Grasping, groping for the speck in their eyes, the log takes out your eye, and blinded, you end up in the pit, in hell forever.

“Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing into your lap.”

That’s how God is toward you. It’s what He wants for you and for all. Always more with Him. He can never run out of giving. His forgiveness, His mercy removes your logs, and so it definitely removes others’ specks. He gives the whole lot. He doesn’t hold back. He pours into the open hands of faith.

He doesn’t wait for anyone’s permission to give. He doesn’t wait for the world to be ready to receive His Son before He sends Him into this world. Jesus doesn’t wait for anyone to be ready before He pours out His life-blood into death. In fact, quite the opposite. He doesn’t wait on our say so to rise from the dead. He doesn’t even wait to pour out His gifts. He baptizes, He absolves, He gives His body and blood, and then asks us to trust the gift.

In fact, to circle back to gifts of this life for a second. He just gives the gifts there, too, all for us to enjoy them. He doesn’t ask if we’re ready for children or spouses or vocations or any of the other manifold gifts He gives us. He just gives.

Now, when it comes to His mercy, His forgiveness, you could reject it. Live in the sins He saved you from. Close your hand to receiving more. You could reject the gift for others, too. When you take His mercy and then are unmerciful, unloving, that’s a sign you closed your hand to it, turned your back in Him. “With the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

But why would you do any of that? “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing into your lap.” He doesn’t run out of mercy. He just gives more and more. Your Father doesn’t run out of not judging, not condemning, His pardoning, His giving. He even delivers it in the Gifts of His Son, Jesus. He wants it to overflow for you, for if it overflows into your lap, then His mercy, His forgiveness will overflow to those around you.

There’s no calculation in the Lord’s giving. He gives in the way of Gift. Gifts are given. The way of calculation, estimation, limit isn’t the way of gift. That ends in the pit. That’s not the Lord’s way of doing things. He wants to give! Not judge. Don’t make Him! Make Him judge you by you rejecting Him. Even so He’s merciful. Jesus is. He’s self-sacrificing, giving His own wants and desires and life unto death for others, for you, for those around you. And those who are thus given to, also give thus, too.

THE LORD’S MERCY OVERFLOWS FOR YOU AND FOR ALL. That’s what He’s giving. Your Father is, Jesus is, the Spirit is, too. Each in His own way. The Triune God pours forth mercy until it’s overflowing—overflowing for you, to you, through you to all. THE LORD’S MERCY OVERFLOWS FOR YOU AND FOR ALL. Now, that’s a “good measure”!

INI + AMEN.

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