Prayer: Thanks for your gifts, O God. Amen
Reading: Romans 3:22b-24 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Our Friday devotions this month look at Day 3 of our summer curriculum. This year, we will be studying “A Love That Never Ends,” looking at how five Old Testament heroes were shown love for God and learning how that love is part of our lives, too. On Wednesdays this summer, we will look at the story of Jonah.
My mother taught that you never return a pie pan empty. If your neighbor brings you a pie, eat it, enjoy it, but don’t return the pie pan empty. Can’t do that. You have to give a gift back. I understand that. But, somehow along the line I learned that you can just eat the pie as a gift and not feel obligated to give something back. Because, I think, too often we fill the pie pan before we return it as a way of being worthy of the pie in the first place.
Following me? I think we have a great deal of difficulty understanding God’s grace-gift, because we have difficulty with the idea of gift. Gifts are free. If not, then it’s not a gift.
St. Paul says it rather succinctly.
By grace—a gift.
There’s not much more to say.
--Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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