Bible Readings and Devotion for September 23, 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 September 23, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Evil comes in many forms. Oppression, sin, hate, distraction, demons and more. Our lives need God’s help. In our reading today from Luke we have a case of demonic possession which is exhibited in the man’s life by what seems to be also mental illness. Part of this difficult situation is noted by Luke who wrote, “For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.”
The restoration and healing brought by God’s power in this man’s life included pushing out the demons. After his healing, “they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.”
In addition to the demons, mental illness is a physical reality, just as heart disease, neurological issues, cancer, and the common cold are. God, the Great Physician, provides hope, healing, and endurance for us through all physical struggles.
There is a hymn which we have not sung much in our church, but which is about this spiritual and physical healing of demons and physical concerns, including mental struggles. It is, “Dear Lord and Father of mankind.” Lutheran Book of Worship #506. Here is the complete text of this song:
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
1 Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our fev’rish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind;
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper rev’rence, praise.
2 In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.
3 Oh, Sabbath rest by Galilee,
oh, calm of hills above;
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity,
interpreted by love!
4 Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace.
5 Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still small voice of calm!
Text: John G. Whittier, 1807-1892
O God, we thank you for times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life. Grant that we may so use our leisure for the renewal of our bodies and minds that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen