February 24th (7th Sunday after Epiphany): “The Measure You Get Back”
Main Text: Luke 6:27-38 (Genesis 43:3-11,15; 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50)
We began this Epiphany journey with the Wise Men who traveled far and left their gifts of gold, frankincense and Myrrh. They were happy to lay down their very valuable gifts, because they sensed that Jesus offered them more than their gifts ever could. It was truly comparing apples and oranges. So, when we hear Jesus say that “the measure you give will be the measure you get back,” how do you measure this when comparing apples and oranges. In the story from Genesis, Jacob deserved to receive Joseph’s condemnation for having sold his brother into slavery. He still carried the guilt and shame of that act. This story, however, ends with forgiveness and redemption (be sure to read the rest of the story). Jacob did not receive what he gave. Instead, he traded his sin for God’s grace in the end. The reading from First Corinthians reminds us that our works and God’s grace are truly apples and oranges. Our works and God’s grace are incomparable. Therefore, it is not the substance of our gift that matters as much as the measure. Whatever percentage we give God, is the percentage we get of God’s gifts in return. If we only give a token, then we only receive a token. If, however, we recognize the incomparable grace of God as the gift God wants to give us, why would we not exchange all that we have for a full measure of God’s grace in our lives? What measure of your life are you willing to give to God in exchange for the immeasurable and inexhaustible life that Christ offers? The measure you give will be the measure you get back! Lets give our full measure to the Lord! The joy of the Lord will become our strength and it is all that we need!