Home > Reading > The Daily Lectionary – July 21, 2016


Joshua 3:14–4:7; Romans 12:1–8; Matthew 26:1–16

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed…”

Human life, it was once assumed, had a given form. But now children are taught to resist being identified in any way that they themselves have not chosen. We must not, for example, assume children are straight or gay, male or female. An article in Slate complained about the obstetrician who, holding a newborn aloft, dared to announce: “It’s a boy.” Only freely chosen preferences may give form to a human life. Our society stands ready, whether at birth or baptism, to overrule prior claims to life’s meaning. The world ironically demands conformity to its denial of form.

But in the anarchy of coerced formlessness into which the world is plummeting, Jesus was born. He is the form of human life. What it means to be truly human—kneeling humility, blood-pouring passion, extravagant freedom, radiant joy—becomes visible only in him. Thus the form of human life is beyond us. But we are baptized to be like him, baptized beyond what we ourselves might choose. And this reaching beyond ourselves, what is this but the eternal form of human life?

Prayer: Father, transform me into the image of your Son. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Gary Blobaum, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Sumter, SC.

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