Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on October 7, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Hebrews 13:1-25 (NKJV)
13:1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.
24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.
25 Grace be with you all. Amen.
The promise of Jesus Christ was consistent “yesterday” throughout the Old Testament. God taught His people of Israel to hear, obey, walk, and love according to the discipline and hope that He established in the Church during the former days. Today He continues to teach us the discipleship of observing all that He commands with the Word and Sacraments in the Church. The faithful catholic Church will continue forever because it is established in God our Savior!
Three times this chapter of Hebrews mentions “those who rule over you.” The writer reminds us that teachers and leaders are established by the Lord in the good order of the Church. These men are designated as instruments of the Lord, imperfect as they may be, for the sake of teaching and profiting those who learn and follow. The Old Testament reminds us often that the leaders and heroes of the faith were sinful, but they are still used to teach righteousness. Whether yesterday, or today, they are put to work by the Lord so that Jesus Christ can be made known to all who have humility and faith.
In the good order of the Church we are not just serving men, we are serving the Lord Jesus Himself! That is why we are told not to bring grief to His servants. If He would have us love our enemies, how much more should we love those who are called to lead by Christ’s command? Brotherly love continues when we remember, serve, and rejoice in the order of our Lord’s holy Church.
Prayer: Lord, we beseech Thee, grant Thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil and with pure hearts and minds to follow Thee, the only God; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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