Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, October 20, 2019 - 19th Sunday after Pentecost

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-semicontinuous/2019/10/20?version=NRSV

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, October 20, 2019 - 19th Sunday after Pentecost
[Ordinary 29, Proper 24]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Heart-Full Knowledge
Jeremiah 31:27-34; Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Timothy 3:14—4:5; Luke 18:1-8

Opening Prayer


Come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to Him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.
For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all gods.
He holds in His hands the depths of the earth
and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to Him, for He made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship & bow down.
Let us kneel before the LORD our maker,
for He is our God.
We are the people He watches over,
the flock under His care.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Almighty and most merciful Father, You offer us covenant and write your word on our hearts. Together we are the body of Christ, and each one of us has the responsibility, the desire, to respond to you in word and deed and love. Yet, although you are beside us, within us, above us, all around us we still manage to ignore you. We are pleased to be in your family, but when it is time to do chores in your household we are busy with other things! We are satisfied to receive your gifts but when it comes to passing on your abundance and saying where we got it we hesitate. We are happy to say an occasional prayer to you who are always with us, but when it comes to actually spending time with you, we are already scheduled up! Help us to be your people as you are our God—always and forever.

Assurance of Pardon
The God of Covenant, who names each of us as one of the chosen people, continues to supply our needs and be our constant companion. Though we struggle, in the words of Luke, “to pray always,” we need not lose heart. The Holy One will not abandon: the Beloved is our grace, the healer of our lives. Though we sometimes grow weary, take heart, for our God is with us always to forgive us and remember our sin no more, to grant justice and to offer love.


First Reading
(Promise of a new covenant)
Individual Retribution
31:27 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. 28 And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. 29 In those days they shall no longer say:

   “The parents have eaten sour grapes,
     and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

30 But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

A New Covenant
31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.


The Psalm
(Your words sweeter than honey)
97  Oh, how I love your law!
      It is my meditation all day long.
98  Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
      for it is always with me.
99  I have more understanding than all my teachers,
      for your decrees are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
      for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,
      in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn away from your ordinances,
      for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
      sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding;
      therefore I hate every false way.


Second Reading
(Christ the judge)
3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, 15 and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.


The Gospel
(A widow begs for justice)
The Parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge
18:1 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer


In the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God of love and mercy,
You call us to be your people,
You gift us with Your abundant grace.
Make us a holy people,
radiating the fullness of your love.
Form us into a community of people who care,
expressing Your compassion.
Remind us day after day of our baptismal call
to serve with joy and courage.
Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace
and joy in Your presence.
Through Jesus and Your Spirit,
we make this prayer. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Sunday Lectionary Readings
Jeremiah 31:27-34; Psalm 119:97-104; 2 Timothy 3:14—4:5; Luke 18:1-8

“Persistent and Patient Prayer” The Sermon for SUNDAY, October 20, 2019 - 19th Sunday after Pentecost


Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 18th chapter of Luke, beginning with the 1st verse.

18:1 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:1-8 (NRSV)

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

“Persistent and Patient Prayer”

Jesus told His disciples a parable that they should always pray and not lose heart. Jesus was training and preparing them for when they would no longer see Him walk the earth but would, instead, have to “watch and pray.” Jesus was teaching His faithful about faith in Him, and the life of prayer, which flows from such faith.

In the parable, we find an authority figure, a dishonest judge. He doesn’t fear God or people, and probably has sticky fingers, expecting a bribe. The person appealing to the judge is an irritating widow. She keeps showing up in his courtroom day after day, demanding justice.

The corrupt judge, however, couldn’t care less about justice. Yet, the judge is tired of this woman wearing him down with her persistent petitions. So, reluctantly, he gives this woman justice, hoping she would finally leave him alone. That’s the picture of persistent and patient prayer!

So what’s the point of this parable? Jesus points us from the lesser to the greater, from the judge to God. However, God isn’t like the judge in the parable. Oh, He’s a judge, but He’s not unrighteous. He’s the righteous Judge whose pronouncements are pure and holy.

So what’s the point? If the persistent petitions of a woman seeking justice can persuade a dishonest judge, then how much more will God, who is righteous, work justice for His people? Bribes won’t deter God from being a faithful judge. He won’t drag His feet. He will do justice and carry it out as best serves His people.

The focal point of the parable is patient and enduring persistence—the true and persistent prayer that flows out from faith. John 9:31 says, “God does not listen to sinners.” Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God will only hear the prayers of those who have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, those washed clean by His blood.

That’s why it’s pointless to think that an unbeliever can truly pray. True prayer is not an exercise of unbelief; it is nothing less than an act of faith. True prayer is trusting in God’s promise that He will hear you and answer you. Even if your faith is the size of a mustard seed, even if your faith is but a hairline crack in the bulwark of unbelief, you can still pray. And God will still hear.

That’s why the parable ends as it does. The point is not if people will pray when Jesus returns on the Last Day. Oh, that will happen. The point is this: will Jesus find faith, for only true faith leads to true prayer that God will hear and answer!

So why do you lose heart and fail to pray as you should? Is it your impatience? Impatience kills faithful, persistent prayer. Prayer is an exercise in faithful patience. And the character of faith is to endure patiently, persisting in the face of difficulty. Faith is long-suffering and enduring. In the parable, the woman keeps coming back to the judge. She doesn’t quit.

Yet, we often lose patience in our life of prayer. We don’t get what we want. And if we do, we don’t get it fast enough. And so we quit, or look for something else that we think will work. Our prayers are shallow, sporadic, undisciplined, and anemic. We pray like we often exercise. We go to the gym a few times, lift a few weights, and then decide, “This exercise stuff is for the birds. I haven’t lost an ounce of fat.”

Prayer is an exercise of faith over the long-haul. Prayer is a marathon, not a 50-yard dash. That’s why the Apostle Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But we quickly lose interest, thinking, “What’s the point when it looks like prayer doesn’t do anything?”

Jesus says, “And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?” The answer is, “Yes.” And so we, as God’s people, pray. We pray for relief from the problems that afflict us. We pray day after day, week after week. Some problems get better; some don’t, and some stay the same. Yet, we persist in prayer because that’s what faith does. That’s what faith does!

We have this crazy notion that God is a divine-vending machine high in heaven. Put in your quarters of prayer and praise, and out pops the blessing you demand. Many preachers are willing to serve up that false teaching to indulge you. Don’t be deceived. Prayer is persistent as it is patient.

Our prayer-life is as Jacob wrestling with God after crossing the Jabbok River. After wrestling through the night, Jacob finally pinned God down. Even with his hip knocked out of joint, Jacob wouldn’t let God go, until he received His blessing. That’s the tenacious persistence of faith.

That’s what we are as the Bride of Christ. Baptized believers are wrestlers with God. We wrestle with God in prayer. And, like Jacob, we walk with a limp, for we walk by faith and not by sight. Yet, walking by faith isn’t all that troubling, for when we are weak in ourselves, we are strong in the strength of God.

Look at Jesus. He prayed in Gethsemane for His suffering to be taken away—if there were another way to save you. Yet, He still prayed, “Not my will [O Father] but yours be done” (Luke 22:42)! He prayed for those who scorned Him: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus prayed the 22nd Psalm when the Father seemed oblivious to His suffering. He prayed, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus prayed in His dying breath, in the deepening darkness, to the seemingly silent Father, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Jesus prays: He prays for the world, for His Church, and for you. He intercedes at the right hand of the Father, reminding Him of His once-for-all Sacrifice. For only Jesus wrestled with God in your place. But He didn’t lose His hip joint. No, He lost His life—all to save you and bring you into an intimate, divine life with God.

Well, let’s get back to the parable. If we are to see God’s goodness even in the corrupt character of the judge, who then are we to see in the widow? She’s doesn’t represent you or me. No, she represents Jesus. Jesus persisted where you failed and faltered. He pleads for justice in the courtroom of God and wins salvation for you. He has done what God’s justice demands. And so God the Father always hears His prayers. And through Jesus, in His Spirit, the Father hears your prayers, as well. After all, we are to pray in “Jesus’ name.”

Prayer is not an empty, religious exercise. Prayer is the voice of faith breathing out. Prayer breathes out what God has breathed in through His Spirit-breathed Word. Praying is going to your gracious Father, through His Son, in the Holy Spirit. It is the family conversation of God’s household, where our deepest longings and hopes, our yearning for forgiveness, life, and salvation are placed before our Father, where He hears and answers.

In the Book of Genesis, Jacob wrestled with God. Where he wrestled became known as “Peniel,” which means the “face of God.” Jacob rejoiced, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved” (Genesis 32:30). And where is the face of God for you? Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

The place where you meet God is through His Son. Here, His Son baptizes you. Here, His Son forgives you. Here, His Son gives you His Body and Blood. Here, God’s face shines on you and here He delights in showing you His favor. Here, you get His God-given peace.

So when you doubt God, remember today’s parable. When you wonder how God can still be patient with you, a sinner, remember today’s parable. God will not fail you, because Jesus has not failed you. Jesus is persistent. Jesus still saves. He still comes to you today, doing just that: persistently and patiently saving you.

Here, in the Divine Service, you see God face to face and are delivered. Here, God comes to you in His Word and Spirit, where He forges your faith ever stronger and stronger. Here, God shapes and feeds your faith. And here, the faithful people of God are moved toward a life of persistent and patient prayer.

Heavenly Father, hear our persistent and patient prayers for the virtue of patience and perseverance, in our hearts, homes and our lives. We want to wait patiently for Your will to enfold in our lives. May we learn to wait patiently for You to bring Your answers to our prayers. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Sermon contributed by Rev. Richard Futrell.
In the Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus was training and preparing His disciples to “watch and pray.”  Jesus was teaching His faithful about faith in Him, and the life of prayer, which flows from such faith.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, October 20, 2019


The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, October 20, 2019

Twentieth-century American educator, author, and journalist Penny Lernoux said, “You can look at a slum or peasant village, but it is only by entering into the world—by living in it—that you begin to understand what it is like to be powerless, to be like Christ.”

Lord, you descended into the mire of this world to raise us up. Enable us to descend as you descended that we might rise with you to the beloved community of your resurrected life. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, October 20, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2019/10/20?version=NIV

Psalm 51:12 (NIV)
   Restore to me the joy of your salvation
     and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Read all of Psalm 51

Listen to Psalm 51

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 20 de Octubre de 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/10/20

Oración por cambios de vida

Quien encubre su pecado jamás prospera; quien lo confiesa y lo deja, halla perdón. ¡Dichoso el que siempre teme al Señor!

Señor Jesús, gracias por este nuevo día y por tu amor y paciencia para conmigo.

Hoy, mi Dios, confieso que necesito tener cambios radicales en mi vida. Sé que muchas cosas de mi carácter y de mi temperamento me están ocasionando situaciones incómodas que se me van de las manos y me causan más problemas con mis seres queridos y las personas que me rodean.

Por eso, Señor, necesito que me ayudes a cambiar. Estoy dispuesto a entregarme a ti y permitir que obres en mi vida.

Acudo a tu misericordia que es nueva cada día, porque ya no puedo más.

Te pido perdón por mis pecados y quedo en tus manos, mi Jesús.

Limpia mi vida, hazme de nuevo, y concédeme que logre restablecer las relaciones con mi familia y me puedan perdonar.

Te lo suplico en el nombre de tu Hijo, Jesucristo, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hoy, mi Dios, confieso que necesito tener cambios radicales en mi vida.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 20, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/10/20
WHEN HOPE FADES, FAITH EMERGES

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20 (NIV)

The hope of most female refugees from North Korea fades away shortly after arriving in China. Most do not want to flee to South Korea, because then they lose all contact with their family, and they are not in the position to support them anymore. And if they go to another place in China, it is only a matter of time before they are caught by either the police or human traffickers. And who knows what happens to them then?

So, is all hope lost? “No, there is hope,” says co-worker Kun-so. She picks up a Bible. “And that hope is written in this Book. For in it are profound promises. There is a heaven. Jesus loves you. All tears will be wiped away. No more death, no more pain. The Bible can even be the key to a better life now.

“But we have to bring the hard, difficult, biblical messages to the surface. The Bible says that you have to bless those who persecute you. It means you have to love the husband that abuses you. I have seen improvement when a North Korean woman was able to love instead of hate. And I direct the women to how God feels about them, how precious they are in His eyes, about what Jesus Christ did for them on Calvary. Thanks to His sacrifice there is hope. I can point the women to the day that will come eventually. The day that our Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes, the day that death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

“After a while, we try to teach the women to forgive their Chinese husbands for their abuse. We tell them Jesus commands us to love our husbands. I know this is not easy to do. But we have seen that some women found the strength to do loving things for their husbands, and as a result slowly the husband started to change.”

Moon lost her child through a forced abortion, only days before her due date. Moon still lives with the Chinese family responsible for killing her child. But she also came into contact with a female co-worker. The worker took care of Moon as best as she could. She befriended her, prayed with her and explained about God and His love for her.

“I will be forever grateful,” shares Moon. “Thanks to you, I came into contact with God. As I learn more and more about Him through your Bible studies, I am grateful that this wonderful Being loves me. China and North Korea have not changed. I am still a person with no rights, and there is always the threat that the police will find me and send me back to North Korea.

“My situation is terrible, humanly speaking. But I feel like I am living in a whole new world, just because I know God. And I know my baby is with Him.”

When hope fades, faith emerges.

RESPONSE: Today I will place my hope in the Lord and trust Him to change the situations around me.

PRAYER: Pray for North Korean refugees—especially women—who suffer severely often losing hope. Pray that they will indeed find hope in the Lord.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - October 20, 2019 - Thy Strong Word

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20191020

"Thy Strong Word"

Oct. 20, 2019

"Thy strong Word did cleave the darkness; At Thy speaking it was done. For created light we thank Thee, While Thine ordered seasons run. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!

"They strong Word bespeaks us righteous; Bright with Thine own holiness, Glorious now, we press toward glory, And our lives our hopes confess. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise to Thee who light dost send! Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia without end!"

Words have power. The childhood saying tries to assure us, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," but we know that unkind names and words do hurt. Words both inflame anger and inspire acts of compassion. A word of forgiveness, "a word fitly spoken" (Proverbs 25:11a), can heal a broken relationship.

God's all-powerful Word can do much more. His Word creates, bringing things into existence where nothing existed before. God said, "'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). There was no sun yet, no moon or stars, but when God spoke, light appeared, cleaving the darkness. God's Word called the heavens and the earth into being and set creation in order.

God said that His Word, "shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11b). God sent His Son into the world to reconcile this fallen, sin-darkened world to Himself. Jesus, the Word made flesh, accomplished the purpose for which He was sent. Darkness shrouded the land as He hung on the cross, suffering the penalty of death that we deserved. Then, on the first Easter morning, the early light revealed Jesus' empty tomb. The darkness of sin and death fell victim to the risen, reigning Light of the world.

Because Jesus took our sins onto Himself, the mighty, creating Word of God "bespeaks us righteous," declaring us not guilty. As the Word once called creation into existence, so through faith in Jesus, each of us is made a new creation, clothed in Christ's righteousness. God speaks, and things happen! Our sins are washed away in Jesus' blood, and we are dressed in Jesus' perfect holiness.

"Glorious now," dressed in the bright righteousness of Jesus, we press toward the greater glory still to come "and our lives our hopes confess." We use our words, ordinary human words, to bring to others the saving Gospel message. We use our words, our hands, and our hearts to "cleave the darkness" with the love of Jesus, the Word made flesh and the Light of the world.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, bless our words of witness and our acts of love so that others will come to know and worship You as their Savior and Lord. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • The "Word of God"—a phrase we hear so often we don't even think much about it—what do you think of when you hear it, or use it?
  • Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. How would you describe that idea to someone who was unfamiliar with Christianity or the Bible? Why is it important?
  • God's Word cleaving the darkness—is there anything God's Word can't do, or won't do?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Thy Strong Word." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
The "Word of God"—a phrase we hear so often we don't even think much about it—what do you think of when you hear it, or use it?

Unser Täglich Brot - Nicht zweitrangig

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/10/20/nicht-zweitrangig/

Nicht zweitrangig

Lesung: Römer 16,3-13 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Jesaja 59-61; 2. Thessalonicher 3

Dann sind da noch Andronikus und Junia, meine Verwandten, die mit mir im Gefängnis waren. Die beiden genießen hohes Ansehen unter den Aposteln. Römer 16,7

Nach dem Ende des 1. Weltkrieges wurde US-Präsident Woodrow Wilson als einer der mächtigsten Führer der Welt anerkannt. Aber nur wenige wussten, dass nach einem schweren Schlaganfall im Jahr 1919 seine Frau beinahe sämtliche seiner Geschäfte erledigte und entschied, welche Angelegenheiten ihm vorgetragen werden sollten. Moderne Historiker glauben sogar, dass es eigentlich Edith Wilson war, die für eine kurze Zeit als Präsidentin der Vereinigten Staaten fungierte.

Würde ich darum bitten, dass man einige Leiter der frühen Gemeinde aufzählt, würden wohl Namen wie Petrus, Paulus und Timotheus fallen, die einige gut dokumentierte Gaben hatten. Aber in Römer 16 nennt Paulus beinahe 40 Menschen unterschiedlicher Herkunft—Männer, Frauen, Sklaven, Juden und Heiden—alle, die auf verschiedene Arten zum Leben in der Gemeinde beigetragen haben.

Es wird deutlich, dass Paulus diesen Menschen höchste Achtung entgegenbrachte und sie keineswegs als zweitrangig betrachtete. Er beschreibt sie als Menschen, die unter den Aposteln ein hohes Ansehen genossen (V. 7). Menschen, die für ihren Dienst für Jesus gefeiert werden sollten.

Viele von uns meinen, dass wir zu gewöhnlich seien, um Leiterfunktionen in der Gemeinde zu übernehmen. Aber die Wahrheit ist, dass jeder von uns Gaben hat, die für den Dienst und die Hilfe an anderen genutzt werden können. Setzen wir doch mit Gottes Kraft unsere Gaben zu seiner Ehre ein.
Als Teil des Leibes Christi sollten wir uns nie unwichtig fühlen. Wie kannst du den Menschen in deiner Gemeinde dienen?
Jesus, hilf mir daran zu denken, dass ich ein wichtiger Teil des Leibes Christi bin.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Nach dem Ende des 1. Weltkrieges wurde US-Präsident Woodrow Wilson als einer der mächtigsten Führer der Welt anerkannt.