Heb 13:1 Let mutual love continue.
Heb 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 4 Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you." 6 So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?"
Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Heb 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing--for that would be harmful to you. 18 Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon. 20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Here is a collection of ‘wise sayings’; this can be described as instructions to the people of the Church of God. It is suspected that this was written in 63/64AD and sent to the Christians of Rome – who were a mixed group of Jews and Gentiles (Hebrews and Romans).
One instruction is repeated: “Obey/remember your leaders...” What is of interest is that this instruction is not unconditional. Obedience is to be given to “those who spoke the word of God” (vs7); they are to have a faith that can be imitated; “they are keeping watch over your souls”. The lesson is clear: respect for leaders is earned by their actions. Those of us who are Christian leaders can only ask people to follow where we are willing to go ourselves.
Ordinary 28 / Pentecost +21
50 A Friend of Souls
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 304.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.