Ecclesiastes 5:1–7; Galatians 3:15–22; Matthew 14:22–36
It goes without saying; at some point in the life of each congregation, conflict will eventually find its way into the church. Often this is the case, simply because we sinners are most comfortable living on our own terms while orchestrating worship and other activities according to personal preferences and desires. Solomon, however, warns God’s people that upon entering God’s house, personal expectations and agendas are better left at the door.
Paul carefully lifts up the precept that it is God who established the parameters for human life through his covenant with his people. Only God’s expectations are those to be met. Once placed in force, even human agreements are not altered. Yet, at the root of any conflict, it is sinfulness that strives to change the parameters established by God. Nevertheless, God’s law is unchangeable.
In conflict, faithfulness is replaced with doubt. Doubt leads to worry, and worry leads to fear, stealing our attention away from our Lord. Conflict, adversity, and the storms are sure to arise, but Christ is with us. Through our confession, we cry out “Lord save us!” At last, forgiveness is ours. As our Lord reaches out his hand, hope is restored.
Prayer: Quiet the storms of our lives, O Lord, and renew us in faith and love. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.