How to Come to the Knowledge of the Truth—Or Not (Sat., Feb. 27)

The word of the day is “truth.”  In matters of faith more than any other, the truth is of utmost importance.  But how do we arrive at the truth?  Some think that they can achieve truth by constant study.  In our reading of 2 Timothy 3:1-9, the apostle teaches that those who rely on human inquiry are deluded and subject to delusion.  He observes that they are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (vs. 7).  If we do a “close reading” of this verse, we can find suggestions about avoiding endless and fruitless pursuits of learning about the spiritual.  At the same time, we can discover how to reach the truth of the…

Putting the Church in Order: Worship

The word of the day is “order.”  In our reading of 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 2:8-15, St. Paul begins with the subject of public worship to speak about good order in Timothy’s congregation .  The Apostle writes that men should lift up holy hands without “wrath and doubting” (vs, 8).   And women should dress in a way that becomes “godliness and good works” (vs, 10). The selection of this reading gives the impression that its focus is on women’s behavior in worship. The topic of women in the church thus becomes the overriding concern of this passage and, perhaps, the entire letter. However, in this epistle, the Apostle speaks of kings and civil authorities, men, bishops, deacons, elders (presbyters), older men,…

Hearts Blameless at the Coming of Christ (Tues. Nov. 17)

The word of the day is “blameless.”  In our reading of 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13, St. Paul prays that God would enable his congregation at Thessalonica to grow in their love for one another.  He writes, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you” (vs. 12).  He adds the prayer that the result of this growth would be that God may “establish their hearts, blameless in holiness…” (vs. 13). To be found without fault before God is the goal that our reading suggests as we begin our Nativity Fast.  We are setting our sights on the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all the saints”…