Monday, September 20, 2010

September 19 - 1 Timothy 2

funny that this was the reading for the LSB 3 year series too.  Here's what I wrote for this week's newspaper article (and Cap'n Salty has this excellent post for Nehemiah on September 20):

  What is some of the most important work of the Church that pleases God?  When writing to encourage Pastor Timothy and his congregation in their life together, where does St. Paul begin?  “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).  Our prayers are to treat the needs and joys and sins of all other people as if they were our own.  We ask God to help and forgive all, as well as give thanks to Him for the goodness He has shown them – with as much praise as we would give if the goodness were given to us.

Jesus in PrayImage via Wikipedia
            But Paul quickly moves from praying for everyone in general to praying specifically for the King and all in authority.  And that is a bit surprising.  Most of our American presidents have been fellow believers in our miracle-working Lord and Savior Jesus.  And even the others have not threatened to do things against the Church.  But in Paul’s day, Emperor Nero would do things to hurt Christians (and others) for no good reason.  In fact, both Peter and Paul would later be executed under Nero.  Yet St. Paul says Christians in those days should ask God to bless this enemy of the Church – because God desires “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (v. 4) through the “one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (v. 5-6).  The same fully divine and fully human Jesus who did the work of sacrificing Himself for our salvation is today at work among us, speaking His blessed Word to God on our behalf – and speaking to us on God’s behalf.
Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via Wikipedia

Now we as members of the Church join Jesus in His work.  Sometimes our President, Governor, mayors, judges, legislators and council members speak well in representing us.  Sometimes they harm us by their decisions.  Whatever the case, God grant that we Christians speak for their benefit, praying to God in the name of Christ so that many more will blessed to know His true salvation.
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