Oct 30, 2017

Devotion - 29 October - Helping Other Disciples

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. Today we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We reflect on the impact this movement had on politics, life, art, culture, and the Church.
Gospel Reading- Matthew 18: 15-20
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Devotion: Helping Other Disciples
Dr Martin Luther’s strong opposition to indulgences [buying certificates from the church to reduce or eliminate time in Purgatory] was a major driving force in his efforts to reform the Church. The changes he caused were much more impactful than eliminating those things not supported by the bible, such as those indulgences. Luther wanted Christians to believe in God’s free gift of salvation through His grace. He wanted people to have faith through a personal relationship with God. All this, guided by what could be read in the bible [it helped that 500 years ago, the printing press was starting to produce affordable bibles in the native language]. Today’s Gospel text is talking about how to help a fellow disciple who has sinned. Jesus wants a humble approach, He uses “brother” and does not want us to act as superiors and/or inferiors with someone who has fallen into sin.  We are to try to produce in our brother an awareness of guilt, so he can have restoration [God’s forgiveness, not ours] of his personal relationship with God. We are not to judge, but in a loving way, help our brother mend his relationship with God. It is all about making loving disciples.
We pray: “Lord make us more like you – help us love one another.  Amen”