Devotion and Readings April 30

Hubble Space Telescope Westerlund 2
The star cluster Westerlund 2 as photographed from the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for April 30, 2020

 

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

John 5:36-47

1 Corinthians 15:29-34

Psalm 144, 145

Ezekiel 20

 

Devotion for April 30, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

One of the benefits of living in a mostly rural area of Texas is being able to see the stars at night.  There is even a song about that.  “The stars at night – are big and bright, Deep in the heart of Texas.”  I can tell, this is true.  It reminds me of what we read in Psalm 8:1-4:

“O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”

As we look at the glorious heavens, the vast expanses of space and creation, we can be overwhelmed at times. The point of Psalm 8 is to remind us that the Lord, who made the vast universe, actually cares about us.  This eventually points us to the work of Jesus Christ.  The Lord cares so much about us that he entered human life and reality.  That is part the message of Philippians 2:5-8, which read:

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.”

The amazing, powerful and glorious creator of all that exists has humbled himself to join life with us.  The fullness of God and his Word are brought to a tiny, intense focus in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus, God the Son, brought all of God’s power together for the sake of the human race.  All of God’s goodness, mercy, and self-giving love have been focused through Jesus for you, for me.  In relation to the world, the solar system, the universe, that is very small indeed.

That small speck of creation, either just the world, or just one person, is infinitely important to God.  The tight focus on the life and eternity of us points to a dramatic truth.  That is where today’s reading from Psalm 145 helps us ponder the things of God.  Here is verse 3:

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.”

Look at that last phrase, “his greatness is unsearchable.”  It is a poetic way of presenting a truth about the Lord.  He is more amazing than we can ever truly understand.  It is quite a bit like looking at the stars at night in Texas.  They are big and bright.  If you were to try to count these stars and objects you would run out of time in this earthly life.

Thirty years ago, our nation launched a special satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope.  This helped us see the vast universe without obstruction from our atmosphere.  The photos show us the beauty of what is out in space.  We can now see things beyond our imagination.  See this photo of stars. Photo credit:  ESA/Hubble

A snowstorm of stars

There is curious thing about our observation of things beyond earth.  The further we look the more we discover, and this leads to more discovery.

The Lord is like that in sense.  The Lord is knowable through the means he has provided:  Jesus, Holy Scripture, Sacraments, observing creation, etc. As we dig deeper into knowing and understanding the Lord, the more we find that there is more to him than we can fully comprehend.  As we ask questions, and find answers to many things about the Lord, it leads us to more questions.  New questions do not mean we stop seeking greater understanding of the Lord.  If we stopped seeking to know God it would be as though we launched the Hubble Space Telescope, took a few photos, and then shut the thing down because it showed us that there is more to seek to see.

“His greatness is unsearchable,” tells us that the Lord is abundantly amazing.  We could spend a lifetime looking into the Lord’s work and Word, and we can still learn more.  Even after numerous readings of the Holy Scriptures I continue to find more things I didn’t notice earlier.  I continue to get to know the Lord in many and various ways.  Yes, I do find challenging things, but that doesn’t need to stop me.  With God’s help I can, we all can, seek to search the greatness of our Lord.

 

Prayer

Gracious and holy God, give us diligence to seek you, wisdom to perceive you, and patience to wait for you. Grant us, O God, a mind to meditate on you; eyes to behold you; ears to listen for your word; a heart to love you; and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

 

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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