Living the Lectionary is a weekly devotional tool intended to give you ideas for living out the Word of God that we encounter on Sundays in worship.
About this Season and Series:
About the week starting November 1st: All Saints Day – The Covenant of the Lamb – A “covenant” is an agreement between two parties for the purpose of guarding a pre-defined relationship, such as marriage or a war treaty. God guards His pre-defined relationship with us through His Son’s death upon the Cross, which grants us and our loved ones entrance into His Kingdom. Law: God’s people have always been covenant breakers. We spoil the relationship we have with God by our sins. Gospel: God does not define our covenant on the basis of our failure to live up to the old covenant sacrificial laws, but on the basis on the righteousness of Jesus – this is the greater covenant.
Sundays After Pentecost/”The Gift of the Lamb” – The long season of the Sundays after Pentecost are split up into series here at University Lutheran, in the last weeks of this long season, we turn to a sermon series based on the Book of Hebrews called “The Gift of the Lamb”.
Reflecting on the Readings (readings are linked to text onESVbible.com)
Deuteronomy 6:1-9– Keep these Words – Moses brings the statutes and ordinances of God to the people of Israel. These statutes and commandments are to serve as the rules which will keep their relationship with God, and are to be taught until they are known by heart and then reviewed. Take some time to reflect on what of God’s Word you know by heart. How might you grow in your keeping of God’s Word?
Psalm 119:1-8– Happiness of the Law – The reality of the human condition is that we can only see fleeting moments of the “happiness of the law” described in this first stanza of Psalm 119. We are bound to sin again, from which sin we will need forgiveness, and then be set again on the path of “happiness of the law”. What are the moments of happiness that you have experienced as a result of keeping God’s law? Perhaps a moment of closeness with Him?
Hebrews 9:11-22 – A New Covenant– God’s covenant with humanity has always needed an option of forgiveness for unfaithfulness. In this section of Hebrews, we see that in the new covenant, inaugurated by Jesus’ death on the cross – the forgiveness is now dependent upon God Himself and not our sacrifices. But consider for a moment, what would you have to sacrifice. How might this increase your gratitude for the new covenant?
Mark 12:28-37– Jesus explains the Covenants – Both the Old and New Covenants were not “about” the ways in which covenant faithfulness was kept (i.e. Jesus’ death on the cross, sacrifice of animals). As the young man says, “this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Rather, the covenant is about the relationship between God and man – one of love. The sacrifice, in both cases, shows the seriousness of the covenant keeping. How have you shown that you are serious about your relationship with God? How has He shown the same towards you?
Living the Lectionary Ideas
Learn: Read about what a covenant is at the Lutheran Cyclopedia.
Do: We keep our relationship with God fresh through reading His Word and praying. Set aside an extra 10 minutes this week to read your Bible for 5 minutes and pray for 5 minutes.
Live: Covenants are essentially about the character trait of faithfulness. How might you prove yourself to be faithful this week?