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Men in Socks

“And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’

Exodus 3:5

I recently had the great blessing of attending a Bible study of all men at a dear brother’s home. As I sat there, I looked around the living room at the familiar group of men with whom I’ve had the great pleasure to share many hours in fellowship with over the years.

These men have encouraged me both verbally, and by their example as I journey along the way that God has led me in this life. It struck me that we were all shoeless, sitting there in our socks. As this is a customary thing one does when we go to each other’s homes, it is, in and of itself, unremarkable until one thinks about the purpose for which we had gathered on this particular morning.

We too were standing on Holy ground when we opened the Word that morning. We don’t often stop to consider just how holy God truly is. When we do recognize that God is indeed holy, we can at the same time be thankful that Christ has opened up the way through his Word to approach God.

When God called Moses through the burning bush, he had instruction for Moses to remove his shoes. Shoes carry a lot of dirt. This was especially true in Bible times. Walking was probably the major mode of transportation, and it wasn’t done on clean pavement or probably even well-maintained trails. It was common in those days when one entered a home and removed their shoes, that the householder would wash their feet. This was done to show hospitality, but it also probably kept their houses clean from the dirt tracking all over. This dirt could be looked at like the sin that we carry with us every day. The trails we are all on are fraught with temptation.

Martin Luther tells us in his catechism while expounding on the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, that we sin much every day and deserve nothing but punishment. If this was all we heard from Luther, we would feel hopeless, but there is so much more to the story.

We read in the Gospel of Luke in the first chapter of that book these words: [verse 79] “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” This comes from the prophecy of Jesus Christ by Zacharias. What comfort knowing that these feet that carry us through our days and may get dirty and tired, are given light and guided by the Good Shepherd. He leads us beside the still waters that cleanse us from all sin, and he makes us to lie down in green pastures that are the abundance of his mercy toward us.

I silently rejoiced that morning as these men in socks all gathered to go onto Holy ground and to open the Word that points all of us to the same Jesus that washed his disciple’s feet, and has washed us in his blood

Praise God for his unspeakable mercies toward us in Christ!

Hans Lampinen

Submitted by Pastor Stan

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