An icon of St. Paul
Bible Readings and Devotion for October 1, 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 October 1, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Many years ago I had a dream. In that dream I was facing some overwhelming challenge. It was something very big and beyond description. It was a task which was unknown, but I had to complete it. In this dream I felt that I really didn’t know what to do and that I was about to give it up.
Unexpected things often happen in dreams, and this was no exception. Seemingly out of nowhere a friend of mine showed up. She is of my parents’ generation and had experience many things ahead of me. My friend, whose name was Elinor Thompson, shows up and tells me something like this: “Don’t worry about this task. God has already given you everything you need to complete this task. Use what you have been given.”
With that I woke up from that dream in peace about whatever I was going to face. Some days later I saw my friend Elinor, and told her about the dream. She said that is exactly what she would have said in that situation. Elinor died this past year. Here is a link to her obituary. I knew her when I served as pastor of her congregation near South Bend, Indiana from 1998-2005.
In today’s reading from 2 Corinthians 12, we see Paul telling about a reassurance which the Lord gave to him during a tough time. When all else seemed a loss or just plain horrible, God tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” In sharing this, Paul is teach us that the most important thing we can hold onto in stressful time is that same thing which is truly holding onto us: the Lord and his abundant grace. In faith we already have what we need from God. Sometimes we just need to be awakened from the clouds of existence to realize the resources available to us. The core of what we need is God’s grace. This grace brings us love, forgiveness, purpose, spiritual gifts, and so much more. With this great provision, the Lord will lead us through the journey and battles of life. Remember, “Don’t worry about this task. God has already given you everything you need to complete this task. Use what you have been given.”
Merciful God, you give us the grace that helps in time of need. Surround us with your steadfast love and lighten our burden. By the power of your Spirit, free us from distress and give us a new mind and heart made whole in the name of the risen Christ. Amen