Devotions: October

The theme series in the month of October, apart from Thanksgiving, focuses on the works of God.

The first Sunday divine service we celebrate Thanksgiving. The praise of God and works of love for our neighbour are sacrifices that please God.

On the second Sunday of the month the focus will be on the sending of the Son of God. Although all human beings deserve to be judged by God since they turned away from Him from the start, the love of God has provided another alternative: in Jesus Christ, He desires to redeem mankind from sin and death.

Those who believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him will not have to endure the judgement despite their sinfulness, while those who do not believe already are in a state of judgement. In both cases, that which lies in the future—be it deliverance or the judgement of condemnation—has already been determined. Jesus thus confronts human beings with the need to make a clear decision.

The main theme of the third Sunday divine service is the church of Christ. Through people who live in accordance with their faith and profess Jesus as their Lord, the church can be experienced as a fellowship of faith, hope, and love. The Lord calls upon us to contribute to the edification of His work by participating actively in the divine services, serving our neighbour, and professing the gospel. It is also important to work on our own spiritual edification, however, namely by praying intimately, deepening our knowledge, and allowing the new creation to grow within us.

The fourth Sunday in October serves to prepare the way for the divine service for the departed. God desires to make salvation accessible to all mankind, including those in the beyond. The commission of Jesus to proclaim the gospel and the forgiveness of sins, as well as to dispense the sacraments in proper fashion, is fulfilled by His Apostles upon both the living and the dead. Just as Jesus Christ brought His sacrifice on this earth, so too salvation is imparted by the Apostles here on this earth. Since sacraments always have a visible side, they can also only be performed in the visible realm. The effect of the sacraments as essential elements of salvation is the same for both the dead and the living.

The dispensation of Holy Baptism with water, Holy Sealing, and Holy Communion for the departed occurs when each of the visible acts are performed on living human beings. Receiving the three sacraments opens the possibility of being united with the Lord at the return of Christ.

In the month of October, the Bible study series will focus on the young man of Nain. In the events that transpire outside the city gates, Jesus Christ reveals Himself as the Lord of life and death by raising the young man from the dead. He acts with – out any preconditions and, in great compassion, turns to help mankind. We have all experienced God’s unconditional devotion, namely at our baptism. Let us perceive God’s loving care and respond accordingly.

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