Romans 1:1-15; Matthew 17:14-21
The early Church of Rome stood as a beacon of faith for first century Christians. Facing persecutions at the hand of the emperor, they depended upon the faith of one another for strength and perseverance. Through faith in Christ, the Church of Rome engaged the mission of the gospel and endured great hardship. Paul longed to visit this family of God, not necessarily to teach them, but also to learn from their faithful way of living and rejoice with them in God’s great mercies. Faith in Christ is what gives God’s people strength to endure; faith strengthens us for our Christian mission and ministry.
Like Paul, people of faith long to live and worship alongside the family of God. In faith together, we readily go out into the world rejoicing as we share the good news with others. We endure the hardships of earthly life and persecutions brought by the evil one. We take pleasure in communing with those who believe as we do and worshiping together. Paul understood this to be in accordance with the gifts of grace and peace—grace in that we are redeemed by Christ and peace in the assurance that we are altogether his.
Prayer: Loving Father, we thank you for our friends in faith and the life we live together through the grace and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila,
Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.