Devotion and Readings for May 30

Jesus-washing-feet

Bible Readings and Devotion for May 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 17:1-10

Ephesians 5:22-33

Psalm 74, 77

Joel 1

 

Devotion for May 30, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

The verse right before today’s reading from Ephesians 5 is essential in understanding this passage.  The passage is giving guidance for relationships in Christian homes, yet it applies to all interpersonal connections between followers of Jesus.

That verse I am noting is Ephesians 5:21, which reads, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  This is from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) which is used for the basis of these devotions.  Another translation, the New International Version (NIV) helps clarify this passage.  It reads, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  So, what Paul is stating here is that all of us, no matter our role in a family or the church, are called upon to submit to one another.  We are called to seek the best for others.

The foundation of this teaching is what Jesus has first done for us.  We start by rearranging, yet not changing the meaning, of the passage.  We can say it this way: “Out of reverence for Christ we submit to one another.”  Our reverence or respect for Christ is a response to what he has first done for us.  He is the one who suffered and died for us for the forgiveness of our sin. He is the one who was raised from the dead and now leads us to life with him, both now and forever. He has provided all we need for life, faith and forever.

This message can be summed up in the words of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist, when we wrote the simple statement, “We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). This also can be rearranged, without changing meaning, to read as, “Because he first loved us, we love.”  Because of his great action of love for us, we are empowered and inspired to respond with love for God, our neighbors, and one another.

Another place where Paul teaches regarding this matter is in Philippians 2:1-4, which read, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  He continues the passage (Philippians 2:5-11) by inviting us to follow the example of Jesus, the one who humbled himself for the sake of the world.

It is a shift for many of us to submit our lives to God and to put aside our own desires and needs for the sake of others.  The shift to which we are called is founded in the idea of “Agape” love.  This is the self-giving, sacrificial care which benefits another person.  This sort of love is God’s way of loving.  It is not about feelings, but it is about actions.  We live out love because God has lived out love for us.

In the end, this passage means, “We live out self-giving love for one another because we respect Jesus, the one who first lived out self-giving love for us.”  Paul then invites us to see how this can be lived out in marriage and other relationships in our lives.

 

Prayer

Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

 

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

 

 

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