Leaning Into Holy Week: Wednesday of Holy Week
"Assist us mercifully with your grace, Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts by which you have promised us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever."
Our Collect for today reminds us of two important yet oft-forgotten realities. The first is that in the “mighty acts” of Holy Week (particularly Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection), God acts for “our salvation.” Notice who is the actor here: God is. We do not accomplish our salvation, try as we sometimes might. Everything necessary to win complete and full salvation for humanity is accomplished by God himself in Christ. We simply receive his promises in faith, and when we do that full and complete salvation is ours.
The second reality is one that just keeps coming up within this church (or at least so it seems to me): that salvation is the way to live the true human life. It’s been a theme in many sermons in the past year, and it seems to be a frequent subtext in books that the Inklings read. It is so important to be constantly reminded of it, though, because our flesh continually tempts us to believe the opposite: that a fulfilling life is one in which we give in to our every sinful whim and appetite and enjoy ourselves as much as we possibly can. Apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the best and most acclaimed human life is but vanity. The Psalmist says: “Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.” (Psalm 62:9) Only in Christ can we find true life, the fullness of what God intended us to be lived out first in our place, and then given to those that believe in Him so that they too can live the abundant human life.
Not for anything we have done or could do, but because of God’s sheer mercy and grace, He acts for our salvation, wins our full redemption, and offers us “life and immortality” freely. Good News. Amen.