In the church calendar 23 Feb is remembered as the death date for Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg. Born on 10 July 1682 he died on 23 Feb 1719. He was a German Lutheran Pietist, a Danish missionary to India, & a pioneer of culturally aware Christian mission in Asia. Of “modern” missionaries Ziegenbalg was the first to connect seriously, thoughtfully with the local culture, seeing the local people also as people God had created. He could share God’s love in Christ more clearly as he invested in local language and religion. Can we do the same today?
Monday, February 16
Read Jonah 4. Ziegenbalg was willing to go to India where others would not go. Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah. Why does this text say he was dead set against going?
Tuesday, February 17
Read Genesis 11:1-9. In this story, because of the sin in the heart of humanity, God confuses our speech. Our earthly divisions are an effect of The Fall. Ziegenbalg worked to reconcile people with their Creator. When we work to build bridges between cultures through Christ, we see reconciliation between people. Pray that God would help you reconcile with others. Then go do something about it. Love people.
Wednesday, February 18
Read Romans 1:8-32. First we read of Paul’s boldness for the Gospel and then we read of why this Gospel was needed so badly. These are some of the darkest verses in the New Testament. In these verses, how does God display his wrath?
Thursday, February 19
Read Luke 2:8 –17. With Christmas still fresh in our minds, we think of the shepherds. What did the shepherds do after meeting Jesus?
Friday, February 20
Read Acts 17:16-34. Paul does something interesting before speaking in the Areopagus here in Athens. What is it? How can get to know the people around us?
Saturday, February 21
Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-22. Paul sacrifices his Christian freedom in order to serve and communicate the Gospel to others. Why? Where might God be calling you to sacrifice your freedom (preferences, traditions, culture) so that others might be able to see the grace of God through you?
Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN – bethelstpaul.com