Friends, is our universe helio-centric or geo-centric? Is the sun at the center or the earth? You may have thought that we settled that question a long time ago but today it sounds like people are convinced that not just the earth but the earth that makes up their human nature is the center of all things. It’s not just the selfies nor selfishness that prompted this note – selfishness has been around since Adam gave it a try in opposition to God and Eve. What I notice now is the profound gravity of self-centeredness among people, so much so that they cannot even see or hear or know anything except as they sense it impacts their feelings in their world.
Self-centeredness traps a person like a dead body is trapped in a cave with a stone rolled in front of the opening.
Solution? A new creation. The incarnation of Jesus put the Son of God back at the center of people’s lives and so people were healed (see podcast episodes on Matthew 8 and 9), raised from the dead, fed, and best of all, justified. Jesus liberates us from the bondage of our self-centeredness by rolling away the obstacles that trap us in this worldliness. Jesus raises us from the dead. Jesus puts God back at the center of our lives as His Word and Spirit regenerate and animate our souls. Living in His light is how and why He says we are the light of the world.
Martin Luther noticed the gravity of self-centeredness in our flesh and the need and power of God’s redeeming work when he wrote, “The old-Adam in us, should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts and a new-man daily come forth and arise who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.” Small Catechism, Baptism pt. 4.