Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Festival of St. Olaf, King and Martyr

Posted on July 29, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 8:13-21 (NKJV)
8:13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. 15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? 18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
They said to Him, “Twelve.”
20 “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?”
And they said, “Seven.”
21 So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”
Being a follower of Jesus means living a life of peril and hardship. The Church is attacked by both fleshly and spiritual forces. Our Lord warns His disciples to beware of the leaven of false teachers, but the disciples do not understand at first. The Old Adam often tries to confuse us as well, and to take our eyes off the clear Word of God. The Lord encourages His disciples to look beyond their physical needs and to focus on the provision that only He can provide.
As a king and a martyr, St. Olaf had to overcome many threats to his people and the Church he sought to help establish in Norway, defeating the paganism which had a hold on the culture of his day. Even on the battlefield, as Olaf succumbed to his wounds, his dying words were, “God help me.”
We face many threats, and yet the Lord fights for us. In this we can have hope, that we do not face the trials alone, but are guided by the Triune God in His Word.
Prayer: O Lord, grant steadfastness in a faithful confession to those among the magistracy whom Thou hast gathered into Thy holy Church, and direct the hearts of the faithful to support them in their vocation; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Lord of All Power and Might, Who art the Author and Giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of Thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same; 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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