Bible Readings and Devotion for August 5, 2020
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Devotion for August 5, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Today’s reading from Acts tells the story of one of my favorite people of the New Testament. Eutychus is only mentioned in this passage. This young man was present at a farewell event for St. Paul. The Apostle was heading back to Jerusalem after a missionary journey.
The scene is almost comical. St. Paul was a long-winded preacher. He spoke for a very long time. One person of the congregation, a young man named Eutychus, sat in an open window. He fell asleep and fell onto the street below. This was not a minor fall, for he fell down three stories, maybe 20-25 feet. He died as a result of his injuries. It appears that Paul, by God’s power, revived Eutychus, and then went on with the gathering.
I like Eutychus because his response to the sermon reminds me that we are in the real world with our faith. We are a gathering of very normal men and women, boys and girls. Some days we are feeling good and alert. Other days we may be worn out or tired from what we have experienced in recent days. When we gather for worship we have come from all sorts of contexts. Some of us may be like Eutychus, and we may even doze off for a moment. Others of us my not doze off, but my be distracted or just not feeling that great.
In the end, our invitation is to have a bit of grace with one another. It is a way we can, “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2. Life can be a burden, and it may lead us to fall asleep like Eutychus did during the pastor’s sermon, or at some other seemingly inappropriate time. In the end, we are thankful to be together. We are thankful that God’s love is for each of us. We are thankful that we love one another and that we can live out grace for one another in all of life’s ups and downs.
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.