16th sunday of pentecost
The Church fulfills her role as her brother’s keeper. The privilege, responsibility and importance of this task all rest in the words from our Gospel lesson that follow Jesus’ divine directive, “I tell you the truth…” The keys of the kingdom have been placed in our hands. It is our privilege and responsibility to bind and to loose—to be our brother’s keeper—because Christ has appointed the Church to carry out that task on his behalf. Note carefully today’s emphasis as opposed to next Sunday’s to keep from duplicating themes. Next Sunday deals with forgiving our neighbor as God forgave us. While forgiveness is inherent in Christian discipline, today we note the work of the Christian and the Church to reach out with Law and Gospel for the sake of the fallen brother.
sermon lesson: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:10,13-15
Artwork: Ian M. Welch. © 2014. All rights reserved. (paramentics.com)