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Devotion about Proverbs 31 for the Festival of St. Mary Magdalene

Today we focus on the Old Testament Reading, Proverbs 31:10–31. Our devotion comes from Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Scripture Readings

Proverbs 31:10–31
Psalm 73:23–28
Acts 13:26–31
John 20:1–2, 10–18

Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.

Devotional Reading

The Church is the household of faith. It contains those who belong to Christ. Within the Church, Christians are nurtured and instructed in the faith. The Proverbs woman embodies the Church in these ways, as well. Believers dwell within her household, and they are nourished in both the faith and in daily needs. She provides all that is needed for the life of the world to come by clothing, feeding, and instructing her household in the ways of Yahweh. Through the Church, both the household of God and all the rulers of this world and in “the heavenly places” will know the wisdom of Yahweh (see Ephesians 3:10). This is precisely what the woman teaches to her household, and it is for this wisdom and fear of Yahweh that she is praised even in the gates.

Furthermore, she brings her household safely through the threats of this life (cold in winter, for instance) by preparing them for the time to come such that they can laugh in the face of those who threaten their souls. As those who are part of God’s Holy Church, they have nothing to fear. The Church cannot be destroyed by this world or her enemies.

Additionally, when compared with the Bride of Song of Songs, we see a portrait of the Church as the Bride of Christ in the Proverbs 31:10–31 woman. The Bride of Christ is perfect and spotless in the eyes of her Beloved, Jesus. Like Solomon’s beautiful bride is perfect and unmatchable in his eyes, the Church, despite her flaws and the flaws of the individual believers who make up the Church, is perfect and unmatchable in the eyes of her Savior. This is because she is clothed in His righteousness. He has made her spotless and pure, setting her aside from the world.

As the spotless Bride of Christ, she is praised by her children and even sometimes by the world, but that praise she reflects back to the One who gave His life to make her spotless and pure and to God the Father, as well. To praise the Church is to praise her Lord, and the Church teaches her children to praise and glorify Him.

Devotional reading is from Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman, pages 161–62 © 2017 Elizabeth Ahlman. Published by Concordia Publishing House.

Prayer

Direct us, O Lord, in all our actions by Your gracious favor, and further us with Your continual help that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in Your name, we may glorify Your holy name and finally by Your mercy receive eternal life; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer is from Blessings and Prayers for Women, page 146 © 2004 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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