Bible Readings and Devotion for July 10, 2020
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Devotion for July 10, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Everybody is at a different place in their faith life. Some are firm and confident. Others are working through doubts. A number are in what is often called a, “dry spell,” in their faith, for they do not feel much at all about their faith. Several are gaining renewed joy in Christ. Many are moving along slow and steady, staying faithful every day. Some feel they are at a point of atheism (no belief in a god) or agnosticism (unsure whether or not there is a god) in their connection with the faith. Some are bold in proclaiming their trust in Jesus. Some are afraid to let anybody know they are interested in knowing Jesus. The list can go on and on.
Our reading today from John 19 shows us what happened just after Jesus has died on the cross. There are two, prominent, Jewish men who are moving into a new zone of their faith. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were on the edges of the company of followers of Jesus. Joseph was afraid of how his fellow Jews would treat him, so he was a secret disciple. Nicodemus would visit with Jesus by the darkness of night, so as to avoid being seen. We have record of one of these visits in John 3:1-17. These two had been on the edges, but at this point, having seen Jesus die for the sin of the world, they were moved to a new expression of faith. Joseph was given the boldness to ask Pilate for the dead body of Jesus. Nicodemus was moved to help by providing the spices and supplies for preparing Jesus’ body for entombment.
As we look ahead in John and also in Matthew, remember that even the Apostles had doubts about Jesus. The famous scene in John 20:24-29 shows, “Doubting Thomas,” who asked for greater proof of Jesus’ resurrection. In Matthew 28:16-20, we read that some doubted what was happening.
Today we are in all sorts of places with our faith. Remember that there is always God’s love for you. There is always a place for you in the community of faith. If you have been away, yet feel a calling to regather, know you are not along, and know you are loved. If you are struggling with your faith, know you are not alone, and that you are loved. If you are bold and joyful in your faith, know you are not alone, and that you are loved. God loves each and every one of us right where we are. God’s love draws us to him and it helps us to love others. Wherever you are in relationship with God and his people, know that you are not alone, and that you are loved.
Almighty God, by the love of Jesus Christ you draw people to yourself and welcome them into the household of faith. May we show your joy by embracing new brothers and sisters as we bear your creative and redeeming word to all the world. Keep us close together in your Spirit, in the breaking of bread and the prayers, and in service to others, following the example of Jesus Christ, our servant and Lord. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.