Bible Readings and Devotion for May 4, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for May 4, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
There is a joke, a story of sorts, which has gone around for decades. I don’t know who first told it to me. Here is a form of it which I found by searching the internet:
“God was sitting in heaven one day when a scientist said to Him, “God, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing – in other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.”
“Oh, is that so? Explain…” replies God. “Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.”
“Well, that’s very interesting… show Me.”
So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil into the shape of a man. “No, no, no…” interrupts God, “Get your own dirt.””
This was found at this link: click link.
This joke reminds me of a truth which is presented in Holy Scripture regarding creation and our response to this creation. In Romans 1:25 we read the following, “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” The message of this passage is that: people have given credit and worship to the creation rather than the one who created all. This has resulted in people doing all variety of sinful things. Any and all sin stems from this. When we put our ultimate trust in something other than the one true God, then we will be guided by something which is not seeking the best for us. We are trusting in something which can’t, by its very nature, fulfill the role of the Lord in our lives. Whatever it is that is not the Lord is a false god, a false idol, a creation rather than the creator.
The context of today’s reading from John 6 is just after Jesus has performed his most famous ministry miracle, the Feeding of the 5000. Some of those who enjoyed the multiplication of the bread and fish seek out Jesus and talk with him about this food. They seek an additional sign of God’s power. In asking for this, they make a connection with the provision of Manna from God. We read in John 6:30-32, “So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.”
Jesus points them to the ultimate and eternal creator, the Lord himself. The people had given Moses the credit for the Manna. They didn’t get that truth from the past, and they were misunderstanding God’s provision in the Feeding of the 5000.
By God’s grace, we are invited to look beyond what is in our hands in this life, and to look to the creator of all. We are encouraged to see that God’s provision comes in many and various ways. We are invited to simply say, “Thank You,” to God.
There are two, simple ways which can be starting points for your thanksgiving to God. One is to give thanks at mealtimes. If you do not yet have a prayer plan at mealtimes I suggest using the Lord’s Prayer. It includes a specific recognition of God’s provision of food, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Another starting point for giving thanks is to use Martin Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers. We will close with his Evening Prayer. Here is his Morning Prayer: I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
A thought for today is to remember who made all that is, who created this wonderful world, and who made you and me. Remember our loving God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who is our beloved creator.
“I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected me today. I ask you to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously to protect me tonight. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”