Monday, 8th Week after Pentecost

Text: Matthew 23:1-12

Prayer Pointers:

For growth in both skill and love in discipleship

For those in authority in the church

“YOU ARE ALL BRETHREN.” This section of Matthew is challenging, because it contains at first glance two contradictory ideas: pay attention to and learn from those in authority, yet do not put energy into the honorifics of authority.

It might be better to get at our Lord’s wisdom by backing into it. The ancient world was an incredibly hierarchical one, with great emphasis on every person knowing his or her place and staying in it. I invite you to imagine middle school, but with more titles! Within the many religious orders and groups that existed there would be a wide range of ranks and sub-ranks. Ideally, these ranks existed to help the participants or members grow and become more adept themselves, but the ranking often meant that the “plebe,” the rookie, would serve so that the person higher in rank would benefit from his or her service.

Jesus redirects this cultural expectation so his followers might remember that everyone has the same purpose: to serve God, following the example of his Messiah, who came not to be served but to serve. Paul captures this in his explanation to the Ephesians: apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers are given to help others grow as followers of the one Lord and as ones who serves like he does. Titles like rabbi, or father or pastor or elder are not wrong in or of themselves, but they must be used carefully so that they don’t encourage “sheep-fleecing.”

So, when your teacher in the Lord gives instruction, follow that instruction, but watch to make sure that the teacher also lives by the same instruction instead of giving heavy burdens with no interest in lending a hand to lift them.

May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

Miss Mollie's School of Grace Preschool

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.