Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of St. Laurence, Deacon and Martyr

Posted on August 10, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 5:30-38 (NKJV)
5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36 “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
37 “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.”
“I say these things that you may be saved.”
Jesus has some rough things to say to those listening. He tells them they do not hear the voice of the Father, and that they do not have the Word of God within them. He notes that they diligently search the Scriptures because they think that they convey eternal life, but then notes that those Scriptures “testify about Me”! But Jesus is not saying these things out of an egotistical desire to best someone in an argument. He is clear: “I say these things that you may be saved.”
Today, we celebrate St. Laurence. According to tradition, in the middle of the third century A.D., the emperor commanded him to turn over the wealth of the Church. Laurence asked for three days to gather the resources, and used that time to distribute the Church’s wealth to the poor. The emperor was enraged and martyred him. Faithful to his Lord, St. Laurence was more concerned to do things “that (people) may be saved” than to save his own skin.
God grant us to understand ourselves in humility, to repent when we are speaking out of an egotistical desire to “win an argument,” and to choose our words carefully, that they may be according to the Lord’s Word. And in the hearing of them, may others also be saved.
Prayer: Quench in us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the flame of vice, even as Thou didst enable blessed Laurence to overcome his fire of sufferings, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech Thee, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we, who cannot do anything that is good without Thee, may by Thee be enabled to live according to Thy will; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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