Devotion and Readings for January 28, 29, 30, and 31, 2021

footprints

Bible Readings and Devotion for January 24, 25, 26, 27, 2021

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

January 28

Matthew 9:9-13

Malachi 1:9-14

Psalms 71, 73

Genesis 28

January 29

Matthew 9:14-17

Malachi 2:1-9

Psalms 74-77

Genesis 29

January 30

Matthew 9:18-26

Malachi 2:10-17 

Genesis 30

Psalms 75, 76, 79, 82

January 31

Matthew 9:27-38

Hebrews 12:1-11*

Psalm 78:1-40

Genesis 31

Devotion for January 28, 29, 30, 31, 2021

By Pastor David Tinker

There is the famous poem often entitled, “Footprints in the Sand.” It has been shared numerous times in the past several decades.  Here is that poem:

“One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”

This is a wonderful poem, but it does not tell the whole story of the support we have in our faith.  Our reading today from Hebrews 12:1-3. We read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Essentially, as we go through life’s ups and downs, we have two powerful faith resources.  We have Jesus, such as the poem asserts.  We also have what Hebrews refers to as the, “great cloud of witnesses.”  We have one another.  We have the broad support of Christians of every time and place who are with us in support and prayer.

Looking back at the Footprints poem. It could be that, instead of just 1 set or 2 sets of footprints, that we see a beach full of footprints during tough times.  We have many of the faithful who are with us when life gets tough.  Yes, we always have God.  We also get to have one another in the body of Christ.

When we are united to Jesus, we are never truly abandoned nor alone.  God is with us.  All those joined to Jesus are with us.

Prayer

Draw your church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our teacher Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving in Christ’s mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will send us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

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