View print-optimized version

Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, November 1, 2019  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Ephesians 1:11–16

In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. (NRSV)

Today is All Saints’ Day. In many traditions, this day is the day to remember those who have gone ahead of us in the faith. Many churches will use this time to say a prayer and perhaps light a candle for those who died in the last year.

The fundamental belief behind All Saints’ Day is that there exists a strong spiritual bond between those in heaven (the Church Triumphant) and the faithful still on earth (the Church Militant).

In earthly terms, we speak about that tie between those who have passed on and those still on earth as an “inheritance.” According to Webster’s dictionary, to inherit means “to come into possession of or receive, especially as a right or divine portion.”

Today’s passage from Ephesians talks about inheritance, but it is not referring to the passing down of something from a deceased parent to a still living child but a different kind of inheritance—that which is passed down from God to the community of the faithful.

Rather than an amount of money or grandmother’s fine china, this inheritance in faith from the Living God includes our hope in Christ, a life in praise of God’s glory, the word of truth, the good news of salvation, and the promise of the Holy Spirit. That’s quite a gift and a powerful heritage to pass along!

In this inheritance, not only are we the “heirs” of this promise, we are also the ones called and ordained to pass it along to the next generation.

So, what aspect of the faith that you have inherited will you pass along to future generations?

Thank you, God, for the powerful faith and witness that you have entrusted to us as your people. Help us be bold in passing it along to the next generation. Amen.

Written by Stuart Jamieson, Major and Planned Giving Officer

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email