Wednesday after the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Timothy 2:1-15 (NKJV)
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.
Why do we regularly pray for the secular authorities during the Divine Service? Primarily because of what St. Paul wrote to Timothy in today’s reading. But to what end? “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” To what end? That all men might be saved, as God sincerely desires. It is only through the proclamation of the Gospel that men come to the knowledge of the truth, that they come to trust in Christ the Mediator, as we confess in the Apology: “Faith justifies…just as it is necessary to maintain this sentence: Christ is Mediator, so is it necessary to defend that faith justifies. For how will Christ be Mediator if in justification we do not use Him as Mediator; if we do not hold that for His sake we are accounted righteous? But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us” (Ap:IV).
That this Gospel might be proclaimed according to God’s plan and purpose, St. Paul also clarifies for us God’s intentions regarding the Office of the Holy Ministry. He calls specifically upon men to fill the Office and to perform its duties faithfully. He calls upon women to serve the kingdom of God in other ways: through godly conduct and modest behavior, which truly stands out in an ungodly world that revels in its immodesty, and also through the bearing and raising of children—a solemn task, for God desires that these children, too, should be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
O Lord Christ, preserve and uphold the rulers of this world that Your Church may prosper, and that all men may come to know and trust in You as the only Mediator between God and man. Amen.