Wednesday, 8th Week after Pentecost

Text: Matthew 23:27-39

Prayer Pointers:

For joy in the Word of God in all times and places

For those who suffer persecution

For the children of Israel

THERE IS DEEP TENSION IN the final words of Jesus’ farewell discourse as Matthew chooses to record it. Matthew’s account is colored by the frustration and agony that grew among synagogue Jews as the message about Jesus the crucified Messiah was spread. The disagreement between those who accepted and those who rejected Jesus’ Messiahship often broke down into violence, violence that recalled the sad history of Israel who attacked bearers of God’s word in the past.

I think it is important to note that the Lutheran Daily Lectionary pairs this passage with the beginning of Paul’s treatment of the topic of election in Romans 9-11. There, Paul wrestles with the implications of the strife within Jewish community life. Paul’s own evangelistic “technique” was to go to the synagogue in whatever city he visited and begin proclaiming the message there. From his own experiences and reflection, Paul is clear about one thing: God is faithful, God keeps his promises, and faith trusts in the promises of God. Paul says emphatically that God has not abandoned Israel, despite appearances, and faith looks to the day when God will resolve the strife and restore the full community of God’s people.

For us who have been grafted as “wild grapes” on the vine of Israel, we can be grateful that the God who chooses has chosen us, has made promises to us, and will keep his promises to save each of us. Our gratitude can move us to deeper prayer for our Jewish brethren who live in God’s faithfulness as much as we do, albeit with a different rhythm. Let us resist those who would curse God’s first chosen, and instead by our words and deeds bless the children of Israel.

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.