LEA Weekly Devotional
Week of October 22, 2006
Proper 24 (B)
Extended Reading: Hebrews 4:1–16
“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help” (Hebrews 4:14–16 The Message).
Religion is irrelevant.
Detractors will say that about teaching the faith. Disparagers insist that religion has no connection to real life problems or successes. They refute God’s Law by claims of self-sufficient self-direction—personal entitlement simply because they exist. And they simply don’t accept the Gospel, even when they have a full measure of blessings on Earth. Where is tangible proof of resurrection? With the world in a mess, where is proof of a loving, caring God?
Of course, you’re not a detractor. At least not on purpose. But you might admit to wondering what God is up to at times. Is He so busy helping teachers prepare good religion lessons that He missed that tornado spiraling down on Texas? Is He so busy trying to keep the devil out of congregation meetings that He didn’t see that second grade father beating up on his wife? Or is God so busy looking after others that He has little time to spend doing what you would like Him to do?
We teach that all sin is idolatry—making someone or something more important than God. In a sense, each of our sins suggests that God and His religion are irrelevant. They don’t apply. Or we don’t think about applying His religious principles to all of life.
And then there’s that pesky concept of integrating faith and Scripture—teaching religion across the curriculum—that suggests religion is relevant to all subjects we teach, all events we conduct, and every nook and cranny of life. Can it really be so? Do we really need to connect the Triune God with everything?
The truth is that religion can be irrelevant.
Many people are on a spiritual quest—a search for something more in their lives than just themselves. Sadly, many of the same people are just like the Jewish nation at the time of Jesus’ ministry. They know, though vaguely, what they want. They want to be happy. They want to be trouble free. They want freedom. They want what they want even if they’re not quite sure what they want! And they fail to recognize spiritual answers because they’re aren’t looking for them in the right places. They find God and religion irrelevant because they have missed what is ear relevant.
In our repentance, we become ear relevant. When God’s Law tells us of our sins, we ask and hear His forgiveness. All this information is within earshot—or at least eyeshot—in Scripture.
God’s Word becomes relevant by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word. Listen carefully—prayerfully—to it. And teach your students to do the same. Pray that the Spirit will expose the Gospel’s relevancy to all of life. Listen! Hear!
Written by Ed Grube
Director of Publications & Communications
© 2006 Lutheran Education Association
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