Wednesday, 14th Week after Pentecost

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Text: Acts 8:14-25

Prayer Pointers:

To not treat God transactionally, but gladly receive his gifts

PETER ARRIVES IN THE SAMARITAN TOWN and immediately has to deal with Simon the wonderworker. Simon is savvy enough to know the difference between his parlor-tricks and this outpouring of Godly power; he takes Peter aside and says “hey, what will it take to move me up to the inner circle? I want what you’ve got.”

The attitude of Simon is a snare to us all. We want to think of our relationship with God transactionally, a spiritual quid pro quo, where we promise something to God, and in exchange wish to receive something from God—for our purposes. We will take what God gives and make use of it according to our own goals. We pray for protection, and say we are willing to keep praying, but we mean for the protection God gives to cover the risks we take for ourselves.

As Peter thunders to Simon, so he says to us: you cannot come to God that way, and to try is a sign of our great danger. There is simply nothing you or I can give to God that he needs. Even our piety-talk, where we presume that we can give God our hearts, is misleading because our hearts belong to God! The reason our hearts are restless, as Augustine so wisely saw, is because we think that our hearts are ours to give to whatever or whomever we wish; we are Simon, thinking that we have something to exchange.

No, God must deal with us graciously, giving us what we need, forgiving us when we fall, redeeming us and getting us started anew. The story of Acts is what comes of God’s grace.

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.