Who do you look up to? An accomplished friend or relative, maybe? A character from history? A President of our country? As we compare ourselves to others of whom we’re aware we can see traits of others we don’t possess – and we look up to some as examples of what we might have been, if only…
Today’s readings are so well connected to each other, even though over a thousand years separate the Old from the New. God’s people in the desert had the temerity to complain to Moses about God’s treatment of them. Supplying their needs daily, sustenance, water, safety, wasn’t enough – they demanded variety! When the plague of deadly snakes came upon them, they suddenly realized that God had taken well care of them, and they cried out for release from the agony of snakebite.
Moses then lifted up a bronze snake, as God instructed, and any who were bitten and looked up to that image were saved. That was an early foreshadowing of the perfection of the Christ lifted up upon the cross. Whoever looks up to Him as Savior shall be saved. And that salvation through faith by grace is not, as Paul reminds us today, of our own doing, by is an underserving gift of God.
We Christians worship the Risen Christ, sacrificed for us. As the hymn says, our faith looks up to Thee, O Lord. God’s blessings as you worship with us today!