St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Prayer: Lord Christ, Your apostle Paul proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught Your Word while in imprisoned in Rome. In our freedom to worship You, give us burning hearts when we hear Moses and the Prophets preached before us, and open our eyes in the breaking of the bread to see You as our Savior and Lord. In Your name, Amen.

Scripture: “From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.” – Acts 28:23

St. Paul suffered continual delay in human justice, handed over to court after court and to prison even when their judges knew him to be innocent of the charges against him by the Jews. Paul remained under some form of imprisonment for many years, slowly making his way to stand before the emperor in Rome. In the end, the Book of Acts never says if Paul was brought to trial from which we sense the continued delay in his earthly justice.

Paul could have easily despaired God’s grace in his circumstances. Though he was not afforded human justice in the civil courts, he continued to preach and testify to the justice of God which was his in Christ Jesus, whose death acquitted the world before a far greater tribunal than Caesar.

Human justice is imperfect and even unfair. But the opportunity to proclaim God’s perfect and undeserved justice before the whole world, even in the midst of human injustice, is a blessing indeed. Human justice delayed is God’s justice proclaimed!

Throughout his days as a prisoner, Paul could have walked away, abandoned the faith, cursed God and escaped human justice by being a sell-out to the system. But instead he endured patiently with the world’s contempt, preached and taught whomever would hear from Moses and the Prophets concerning the Christ, prayed continually, and even if he was never vindicated by worldly justice, he was vindicated by God in Christ which is far more valuable.

Dear children of God, rest in the freedom and justice of Christ! Even if times are trying and difficult, hold fast to His Word and promises. This world has nothing over you, and God has already judged you innocent thanks to the innocent shed blood of His only Son, Christ Jesus your Lord.