Week of September 2, 2018
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(for the week of Pentecost 15 – starting Sunday September 2nd)
First Reading (Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9)
- “Several places in Scripture repeat this theme. God’s Word, with its promises of the Messiah and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ, is sacred, and mankind cannot change it. ‘But you will say: ‘Then why have so many additional books of the prophets been added? And David decided that a temple should be built when the tabernacle of Moses had been done away with, and he arranged the orders of the Levites. And Joshua did many things and commanded the people. So it can be said about many other things.’ I answer: It does not take away from or add to the word of Moses when someone teaches the same thing in other words or in more words. Thus the prophets taught and explained Moses, not themselves, and they judged according to his Law and reproved kings and people. Moreover, what Moses says here applies not to God but to the people: ‘Do not add, etc.’ For who doubts that as the time requires God Himself can add or subtract something? Whether He adds or subtracts, He Himself always remains true; His Word is always true and leads and preserves us faithfully.'” (ESV 283)
- The nations would be impressed by the closeness of God to His people. There are times we read in the Old Testament where people were afraid of the Israelites because of what their Lord has done. We have that closeness with God too. We received His Holy Spirit in our baptism. God is with us. We receive His body and blood in Communion. God is with us. When we follow Him, people begin to recognize us as different and realize the power of God in us. Continue to seek God in all you say and do. Read His Word, rejoice in worship, and pray. Continue to receive God’s good gifts and blessings.
Second Reading (Ephesians 6:10-20)
- Often we forget who our true enemy is. For Christians, our true enemy is the devil, the world, and our sinful nature. Yet we tend to get angry at friends, family members, leaders, and others. In reality, people can do things that make us angry. We must remember often it is their sinful nature which causes our angst. Continue to pray for those individuals that they can stand up against the evil one. Pray for the leaders of the world, whether you like them or not, that they may make wise and God-fearing decisions. Continue to pray for God’s kingdom to come and that all may believe in their Savior.
- Paul’s prayer request is one we should all have. That when we open our mouths we boldly proclaim the mystery of the Gospel. We are all carriers of this message. It is a blessed gift we’ve been given to share with others. Thank God we’ve been chosen to share such a wonderful, never ending gift!
The Holy Gospel (Mark 7:14-23)
- It isn’t what goes into us that makes us sinful; we are by nature sinful and unclean. That was a result of the fall into sin. Each day we remember our baptism and pray that our sinful nature dies daily so that our new nature may live. We pray that with the Holy Spirit’s help our lives continue to become sanctified, holy, as we live as called children of God.
- These verses do not mean to seek out “unclean” things on the outside. We should not seek out pornographic images or other opportunities to sin. When we find ourselves in the midst of the opportunity to sin, we should seek God for strength and self-control to avoid these temptations. We thank God He is always quick to help us in times of struggle and quick to forgive in times of failure.