Week of September 9, 2018
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(for the week of Pentecost 16 – starting Sunday September 9th)
First Reading (Isaiah 35:4-7a)
- Anxiety is something prevalent in our world today. It can be hard understanding those with anxiety. It may be news to some, but telling someone not to be anxious doesn’t usually have the affect we would like it too. If you know someone who is anxious, help them realize what’s causing the anxiety. If it’s going to the doctor, offer to go with them. You can also help them by offering to go on a walk with them or helping them work through that not everything is the worst case scenario. It may be something as simple as helping them breathe. As always, continue to share God’s Word and love with them. Jesus loves us, even when we are anxious; thus we can love others who are anxious.
- In the previous chapter, the Lord has judged the nations. In this chapter, he talks about salvation for the exiled people. We have been exiled to God because of our sin. Yet, our salvation comes in the person of Jesus. He is the only way to the Father. Through Jesus, our relationship has been restored. We need no longer feel like exiles, we have been restored.
Second Reading (James 2:1-10, 14-18)
- It can be easy for us to only want a certain kind of people in our life or in church. James speaks against this. Human nature calls us to treat the rich with more respect. Jesus calls us to serve ALL people, regardless of socioeconomic status. We should desire all people to be saved, the next door neighbor, the thief, the dog walker, everyone! Strive to treat everyone with kindness and respect, even when you are having a bad day.
- Good works do not get us into heaven. Instead, they are a thank offering or evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our life. Through Christ, we’ve been forgiven and set free. We aren’t commanded to follow the 10 Commandments or do good works, but we should greatly desire to do those things because of what Christ has done for us. Because of our faith in Christ, we are free to live how we would like.
The Holy Gospel (Mark 7:24-37)
- “In the regions of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus reveals that He has come to save the Gentiles along with the Jews. Unfortunately, the all encompassing nature of His Gospel is viewed today as a treat by many Christian communities; outreach to other cultures might be ignored. But Jesus calls us to repent of such notions, and He reaches out to all people/ No one lies beyond the scope of His love and grace.” (ESV 1670)
- Jesus performs many miracles. Often we desire God to perform a miracle for us. Or just do X so then we can really believe. Miracles were not done to make people believe in Jesus. The miracles bore witness that Jesus was sent from God. This is true in the Old Testament as well, miracles often authenticated the words of a prophet truly came from God. We can believe in God’s Word without seeing miracles today. Even people who saw the miracles of Jesus (consider the 5,000+ Jesus fed) ended up leaving Jesus. Miracles do not create faith, God and His Word works in our hearts to create faith. Pray God would continue to strengthen your faith and the faith of those you love. Pray all would come to the knowledge and faith of Jesus, their Lord and Savior. That’s the greatest miracle we can witness today.