1 Kings 8:1‐66; Acts 7:51‐8:13; Psalm 129:1‐8; Proverb 17:1
The Stubbornness of a Cat
Have you ever tried to teach your cat to play fetch? Doesn’t work, does it? Sure, a cat will go after a ball, but it will never return it. Cats do what they want to do, and that’s it. But don’t we sometimes do the same thing? In Acts, Stephen charges, “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” While these are harsh words, they are sometimes true. Too often we, too, are stiff-necked, doing what we want to do rather than what God wants.
To be a Jew, a male had to be circumcised. Still, circumcision was more than a physical act. It was a mark on the soul: a promise to obey the law of Moses and a symbol of one’s promise to submit to God. Circumcision was a covenant between man and God. Our Baptism is also a covenant with God. And in our covenant, we vow several things. We promise to renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God, including all sinful desires that draw us from the love of God. We promise to turn to Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior. In doing so, we are to put our whole trust in His grace and love. And we promise to follow and obey Him.
At church on Sundays, we hear the Gospel, and through the words of Jesus, we are reminded of our covenant vows. As we receive the Sacraments, we remember all He did for us. And yet, as we walk out the doors of the church, sometimes without realization or even meaning to, we succumb to evil temptations. But here’s some good news: Jesus loves us, and we can always return to Him no matter what. Returning begins with three little words: “Come, Lord Jesus.” And He will.
The Rev. Danielle DuBois Morris