St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church & School
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
God has given us the duty of being our brother's keeper. This means that the church, through her pastors, will consistently, regularly give a general call to repentance to all people, and will also work together to call individuals to repentance when they sin and do not admit their sin. We will work together to the point of declaring the persistently impenitent person to be outside the kingdom of God and headed for hell--what we call excommunication--with the goal still being that they see the seriousness of their sin and repent. This is love in action.
We are called to love in both kingdoms in which we live: the kingdom of this world and whatever country of which we are citizens, and the kingdom of God which is the kingdom that will endure forever. Being obedient to the governing authorities is one way we show love, as challenging as that may be at times. God fill us with his love in Jesus so that we can properly love everyone in all circumstances.
Daily Devotion - Friday, September 18, 2020
The world is in turmoil. Forest fires scorch the earth and threaten homes and towns. Hurricanes threaten the coasts and put many streets and buildings underwater. In the streets there is rioting. Threats both veiled and not-so-veiled are being made by various groups if certain changes aren't made by the government or if the wrong person gets elected president. So much of this chaos is based on misinformation, a lack of critical thinking, and certain people who are subversively working to undermine things in our country. And then there's the novel coronavirus.
Today's verse gives us a truth we desperately and daily need to here. Despite all that is happening--and honestly, we know that as bad as things are, they could be much, much worse--we have reason to rejoice. In fact, everyone has reason to rejoice. While not everyone will, they would if they would listen to God and receive the truth. They would know, as all Christians do (those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, not just those who call themselves Christians but have no faith), that God rules all things in order to bring his salvation to all people. Sometimes that means allowing bad things to happen, allowing us to carry out evil and face the consequences, or even sending something painful into our lives, all as a call to repentance. And then, for those who do repent and who believe the good news that Jesus has paid the ultimate price to save us from our sins, we have the assurance that the Lord will bless us directly and bless us through the happenings of life, both good and bad.
Rejoice! The Lord reigns!