Weekly Devotion March 15th

The Second Lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 15, is Ephesians 2:1-10.

All of us once lived... in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.  But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved -  (3-5)

Since 2013 the TV station FX has been hosting a series called The Americans, in which the "C" is depicted as the Soviet Union symbol of a hammer and sickle. A fictionalized version of Cold War spying in the 1980's depicts a Russian couple pretending to be U.S. citizens in northern Virginia. Raising two beautiful children (who don't know where their parents came from) and working during the daytime, they spend their nights undermining U.S. political strategies in order to advance the Russian revolution. For the sake of a higher order (Soviet Union style) they will steal, murder, and have sex with anyone it takes to overcome the enemy. Ironically for them, the teenaged daughter, who doesn't know what they are about and who is suspicious of their bizarre lifestyle, has become a Christian.  She has been baptized in the name of Jesus and joined a politically revolutionary church that is working for social justice and equality for all.  The parents are mortified by her choice to do so, but they cannot quite reject everything she stands for.

In the last episode an amazing thing has happened. The father, using every strategy he can think of to manipulate and control others to get hidden information from them, has tried something new. Befriending a lonely girl the same age as his daughter, he is being told by his boss to sleep with her in order to steal information from her father who is a U.S. spy. She seems to want that, but he cannot quite do it. Instead, he pretends to be suddenly born again and invites her to pray with him. The last episode ended with her having a profound religious experience.

Who knows where the next episode will go after this. Unlike a movie, there can be no happy ending. TV series can only continue when there is one complexity after the next. But, isn't life a little bit like that, too?  In the midst of all the trials and confusion of life, the Word of God appears.  And, when it does, anything can change in us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so no one may boast. (8-9)

Pastor Rob

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245