Home > Reading > The Daily Lectionary – April 23, 2016


Exodus 40:18-38; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; Matthew 5:38-48

I am from the mountains and if it takes twenty years to get back, then so be it. Two sayings ring true from my West Virginia childhood: “If you fight one of us, you will have to fight us all,” and “You know what abandoned mine shafts are for.” Our state is world-renowned for a feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. I have always said the Jewish people started the idea of an eye for and eye, but we West Virginians perfected it.

As a follower of Christ, I cannot follow the way of the world. I must do something even harder, swallow my pride, and put Jesus and his ways ahead of mine.

We hear a lot of people talk about their rights or their lives. I was justified. He had it coming. I was only evening the score. It seems as though all of us are looking for loopholes when it comes to certain Scriptures and this is a prime example. Christ gives us no loopholes, but only to take up our crosses each day and die with him. For the crucified need no revenge, and can do all things in Christ.

Prayer: Father, help us to look beyond ourselves and truly follow you—even loving the unlovable. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Carlin Ours, Pastor of Organ Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC.