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1 Timothy 3:14-4:5, Mysteries and Wanderings

Key Verse

Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory.
— 1 Tim. 3:16

RCL Daily Devotion for Monday, September 9, 2019

RCL Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from RCL Worship Resources (see more).


“Mystery” is a big theme in the New Testament. It’s because in the early church the people dealt with competing religions and everyone was trying to figure out what it meant to be “Christian.” In fact, the term itself “Christian” wouldn’t be used for centuries. Most people who followed Christ stated they were a part of the Way.

Mystery religions were the dominant form of “alternative” religions in the first few centuries after Jesus’ death and resurrection. We can see in many New Testament writings that the writers used some of the same vocabulary as the competitive religions at the time. It’s not surprising—any organization wanting dominance over the others will frequently co-opt the language from the competing groups.

So what we see from today’s reading is that Christians were trying to figure out who they were and how they were different from others. In many ways, we would do well to continually ask ourselves the same questions those people of old were asking.

Who are we?

Whose are we?

What is life about?

How does the Infinite One fit in?

It’s okay to redefine your beliefs. They do not have to be static or crystallized in a certain form. And you can even make mistakes you look back on and say, “Whoa! I believed that?”

The permission-giving nature of our faith dictates that we can dwell in the mystery and search. It’s all right and so are you.

God, may I forever be questioning and living in relationship with you. Amen.


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1 Timothy 3:14-4:5

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