While we continue to endure the great circus in the other Washington, our beloved Government Shutdown, and all the hype and criticism surrounding it, another Lord’s Day has come and with it the opportunity to approach the throne of Grace.
We come to the throne of Grace and not the throne of Entitlement – and when we come to this place, we are reminded that we do not deserve anything. Not a single blessing, and they are without number, have we been given that we can say we have earned. The only thing to do at the throne of Grace is ask – ask and receive. But at this throne, we find that when we ask, when we come clothed in the humility and honesty of our situation, we are quickly heard and we are cared for by a Great Shepherd.
At the throne of Entitlement, however, we find a mob-mentality, an elite oversight and rule, and a place where envy and discontentment, anger and selfishness reign. In these weird days of the so-called partial government shutdown we find our wise rulers closing monuments and parks but refusing to touch the most treasured entitlement programs that really are the problem at hand. We are at the beginning of the greatest redistribution of wealth this nation will have ever seen, and the last minute panic of those who realize just what we could be in for is evident.
But what to do and where to turn? How is this to be solved? There are two thrones before us. It is imperative that each one of us, that our families, and that this nation turn away from the throne of Entitlement and to the throne of Grace. But the only way to come to that throne is with your hands open, having dropped your demands, your envy, your pride, your faux-exceptionalism – and bow your knees to receive – grace. That will require the confession of Your sin, the repentance from works which the One Who sits on this throne of Grace requires. For it is a throne – and that means someone is ruling, Someone is in charge. This morning’s sermon text could be addressed to a nation, to the politicians in Washington, just as easily as to individual hearts – “Let him who is stealing, steal no longer.”