Devotions for the week of: August 20, 2020


2 Timothy 1.1-5 (NRSV)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did – when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.

Every baseball season, Jackie Robinson is remembered and celebrated on April 15, the 1947 anniversary when he broke a 63-year-old barrier that team owners had put on players of color playing in Major League Baseball. His number 42 is retired across all Major League teams. This historic moment is consistently remembered throughout the season during television and radio broadcasts. It is important to remember and give thanks for Robinson. It is also important to give thanks for those players of color who came before him, playing in the Negro National Leagues, and pushing for integration. Players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell also played against white MLB players in the offseason and convinced many that black players belonged in the Majors.  

This year we remember and give thanks to God for Elizabeth Platz (the first woman ordained in the Lutheran Church in America), Barbara Andrews (the first woman ordained in the American Lutheran Church), Lydia Rivera Kalb (the first Latina woman ordained in the LCA), Earlean Miller, (the first woman of African descent ordained in the LCA), Sharon Stalkfleet (the first openly bisexual woman ordained in the ELCA) and many others. In addition to these important people, we also remember and give thanks for others – both women and men – who helped pave the way for these “firsts.”  People like Constance Parvey, Dr. Margaret Sittler Ermath, Krister Stendhal, Marianka Fousek, Sister Anna Melville, and many, many more. . .   

In his letter to Timothy, Paul thanks God for Timothy. Paul also thanks God for Timothy’s grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice – Timothy’s first teachers, faith mentors, and leaders. Paul thanks God for the faith through which God was at work as it passed on from one generation to another.  

So, as we give thanks for these “firsts,” let us also be intentional and give thanks for those who came before the “firsts.” We are thankful for those who surrounded them, those who were “behind the scenes,” and all those who helped make it possible for barriers to be broken. Praise be to God! 

Pastor Jeremy Duprey
Community Lutheran Church, Hill City

Lord, thank you for the ministry of Lutheran women ordained in the United States. Thank you for their mothers and grandmothers, and all those who made it possible for them to serve your church in the fullest possible ways. Amen.

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