Bible Readings and Devotion for September 30, 2020
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Devotion for September 30, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
On Palm Sunday 2017 there were two Christian churches attacked by terrorists. The ISIS Islamic terrorists set off bombs inside the two churches during worship on the Holy Day. 44 Christians were killed and many more were injured in this coordinated attack.
The response of the congregations was inspiring. Instead of giving up their faith due to the attacks, and instead of seeking violent revenge, they reaffirmed their faith in Jesus. Back at the time I saw a video which showed the congregation gathered back at one of the church buildings. In response to the persecution they chanted/sang the Nicene Creed in Arabic. They joyfully and boldly announced the Good News of God’s love in Jesus Christ. Bombs could not stop their faith. The had been attacked before, and they will most likely be attacked again, but they will not stop following Jesus and affirming their faith in him.
In our reading from 2 Corinthians, St. Paul shares about his struggles under persecution. In the end, he affirms his faith by stating his firm belief in Jesus. This is even more strongly stated at the end of this longer section in 2 Corinthians 12:10, where Paul writes, “Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
When go through tough times for our faith, the Lord is with us. When others hate us and seek to harm us because we follow Jesus, the Lord carries us through. When we are weak in faith, God is strong and God gives us what we need to follow him.
One of those things he does is helps us to reaffirm our faith in him. The Creeds of the church are tools for such reaffirmation of our faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
As a closing prayer, I invite you to use the Nicene Creed. This is the most universally accepted and used creed among Christians.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen