Thursday, 20th week after Pentecost

Text: Acts 21:27-36

Prayer Pointers:

For grace to practice the habits of the faith

To look to God’s favor and not to your own goodness

PAUL IS THREATENED BY THE Jerusalem crowd because of his teachings that push back on the way to observe the law of Moses and related religious practices. But Paul did not invent this idea: Jesus was often in conflict with the Pharisees and others over interpretation of and obedience to the law (cf Luke 6:1-11).

The sticking point in all of these matters is what purpose the Law serves. At one point in Galatians Paul says that the Law is a teacher (Gal 3:24); it shows, it guides people in how they are to live—but there is no merit, no righteousness in this. The law shows what humans must do, but to do the things of the law and expect merit, righteousness from them is the same as building a bridge and the bridge expecting praise because it does not collapse when vehicles travel over it. Not collapsing is what bridges do.

For example, a person becomes a mother or father and there are activities, deeds, habits the person must now do, because of what parents do. The law intervenes when the person does not do those things a parent does, but the law has no power to make a person a good parent; it can only reveal and restrain a bad one. It is love that makes a mother or father a good parent, and no law can compel love.

In the same way, the law that comes from God can only show us what is expected—it cannot make us good, or cause us to love God. For that to happen, God must draw near and make it possible for us to love as God loves.

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


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

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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.