Devotion and Readings for November 4

good_king_wenceslas_2

 

Bible Readings and Devotion for November 4, 2020

Here are the references for the readings.  Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:

 

Luke 16:19-31

1 Thessalonians 2:13-20

Psalm 8, 11, 15-16

Isaiah 9

 

Devotion for November 4, 2020

By Pastor David Tinker

 

Looking at Psalm 16:11 we read, “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  This reminds us to follow God’s ways throughout our days. 

Related to this is that I like Christmas music. I listen to some of it year-round.  One of my favorite songs is, “Good King Wenceslas.”  There are two things which are unique about this song. 

1 – it tells a story of faith.

2 – it is not overtly about the birth of Jesus

The setting is on December 26 in central Europe.  This is a cold and difficult time.  The King is going out to check on the people.  With him is a young man, page, likely in his teen years.  While out on that cold, winter day, they run across a poor man who is gathering wood.  Seeing the man’s difficult situation, the king and page gather up supplies of food and firewood to help him. 

Something which has long caught my attention is that the king is teaching the teen boy about following God’s way in life.  He does this by instructing the boy to follow in the king’s footsteps. In doing so there are two benefits.  One, the boy will be better able to walk through the snow, and two, the boy will be learning from a prominent mentor how to live out the Christian life of loving one’s neighbors. 

We are invited to find joy and pleasure in following the way of Jesus.  Ever since the earliest day of the church people have referred to the reality of being a Christian as following, “the Way.”  We see an early reference in Acts 9:1-2 when we hear a description of Saul’s (Paul’s) activities of persecution against Christians:  “Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”

Jesus calls us to, “Follow him.”  When he called the first disciples he said, “Come and follow me…” (Mark 1:17).  Discipleship itself is learning how to follow Jesus.  As we grow to follow in his foot steps we find joy and pleasures forever more.

 

Her are the lyrics to, “Good King Wenceslas.”

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shown the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gathering winter fuel

Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know it telling:
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes fountain

Then bring me flesh, and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear them thither
Page and monarch, forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather

Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer
Mark my footsteps my good page
Tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly

In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dented
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

  

 

Prayer

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 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 adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

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