Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • February 21

Pamela Lewis
A Reading from Hebrews 2:1-10

1 Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message declared through angels proved valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was confirmed for us by those who heard him,4 while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are humans that you are mindful of them
    or mortals that you care for them?

7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
    you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8   subjecting all things under their feet.”

Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of Godhe might taste death for everyone.10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Paying attention is hard work. It requires focusing the mind, the body, and the senses to what is before us. In our own time, where myriad distractions vie for our eyes and ears, we are keenly aware of how challenging it is to be attentive to only one thing at a time.

The author of Hebrews warns his listeners to pay closer attention to what they have already heard, lest they go astray and forfeit salvation. There is no excuse for having missed this message: it was first announced by the Lord, then confirmed by those who heard him teach and preach; God testified to it by signs, wonders, and various miracles; and it was bestowed by the Holy Spirit. These listeners, like us, have not seen Christ in the flesh, and must base their belief on the eyewitness accounts, which are now recorded in the Scriptures. 

After expressing this caution, the author looks back to the Psalms, whose quotation questions why God cares about humankind, whom he made “a little lower than the angels” (Ps. 8:4-6). However, his greater purpose for doing this is to emphasize the Messiah’s nature. Though he suffered and died as all men do, he also experienced human life; angels cannot experience true humanity, nor can they call other humans “friends” (v. 11). We in turn can count Jesus as our brother, as one who looks at our circumstances and can sincerely say, “I know how you feel.” This fellow-feeling is possible only by paying close attention.

Pamela A. Lewis taught French for 30 years before retirement. A lifelong resident of Queens, New York, she attends Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and serves on various lay ministries. She writes for The Episcopal New Yorker, Episcopal Journal, and The Living Church.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

All Saints’, Beverly Hills, California
The Diocese of Portsmouth – The Church of England
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.