Collect of the Week
Lord Jesus Christ, in Your deep compassion You rescue us from whatever may hurt us. Teach us to love You above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
9 "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.
11 "You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
13 "You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
15 "You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life1 of your neighbor: I am the LORD.
17 "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
In the name of + Jesus.
The Law of God is unyielding in its demands. It leaves nothing to chance, but demands not only that your love for God is complete and undivided, but that your love for the neighbor be whole as well. If you have even a thought of hatred, or jealousy, or envy towards your neighbor, the Law says you are damned. That’s it.
And faith says, “Yes, that is true.” Faith says, “The Law is good, and wise, and I have not kept it—not even close.” Faith says, “When I’ve broken just one of the Lord’s commands, I’m guilty of them all” (James 2:10).
As the hymns says, it:
The Law of God is good and wise
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.
But, surprise, this is what the Law was given to do, for through the Law comes knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). And with knowledge of sin comes contrition, and with contrition comes repentance, and with repentance comes faith in the one who has kept this perfectly unyielding Law of God.
Look at the above passage from Leviticus, and replace the words “You shall,” with the words, “Jesus has.” It should read something like this; take verses 11 and following as an example:
“Jesus has not stolen; Jesus has not dealt falsely; Jesus has not lied to anyone. Jesus has not sworn by my name falsely, and Jesus has not profaned the name of your God; Jesus is the LORD.”
As your Good Samaritan, Jesus has fulfilled the demands of the Law, so that His own righteousness might be credited to you. And so, while we know the Law condemns us, we rejoice, in contrition and repentance, we flee to Jesus and find our refuge in the His forgiveness. Cursed by the Law, we turn to Him who became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). Unable to love and serve our neighbors with pure spirits and whole loving hearts, we worship the One who has. For by fulfilling the Law’s demands, Jesus has saved us, and faith says, “Yes, yes, it shall be so!” In the name of + Jesus. Amen.
With the blood of Your Son, you bind us together, and make us one. Teach us, O Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, to rejoice in the household of faith, that our love might be shown to all; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.