Monday of Holy Week
Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is not distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13)
Additional Daily Bible Readings: Exodus 13; Psalm 79; Romans 10:5-21
Weekly Reading: http://bit.ly/2kNMlfU
Paul now returns to his argument about righteousness based on saving yourself by the law, and righteousness based on faith in Jesus. Some may think they must ascend to the highest heavens or descend to the place of the dead to attain their own salvation. But that is not what Scripture proclaims.
The good news is as near to us as the Word of faith, the Word of God which we preach, so that it is on our lips and in our heart: the news that God raised Jesus from the dead. The news that all who believe and call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. To this Scripture testifies and this Scripture proclaims.
And this salvation is available to all—to the Jew and to the Greek, to the North American and to those living in Arabia, to the newborn child and to the octogenarian, to the top 1 percent and to those living in poverty. All are in need of justification, freely given, and all who believe in the heart and confess Jesus with the lips will be saved. Each and every one…
We are now at Monday of Holy Week. This day always leaves me feeling that we should just get on with it. However, we need this time; we need to take time. We need to not rush Holy Week and Easter any more than we should begin singing Christmas carols the first day of Advent or put up the Christmas tree just after Halloween. The church year provides us with a necessary rhythm. It is not legalistic, but rather a gift to slow us down, blessing us with space to pray, meditate, ponder and prepare.
If you haven’t already, and you are physically able, plan to participate in each of the services offered by your local congregation this week; they provide a full experience of Jesus’ passion.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I call upon your name for my salvation! I believe that you are the way, the truth and the life. Amen.
Holy Week Response: Invite someone to your church for Holy Week services.
Video Devotional: From Ashes to Easter
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.