August 31 | Daily Devotion

August 31 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

There are some foreign elements (literally) in 1 Corinthians 11 that are difficult for modern Western people to understand. The primary purpose of the passage is to teach proper respect for authority in worship services (vv. 3-4). Apparently, there were some strong “spiritual” women in Corinth, and some of these ladies had the gift of preaching (prophesying), which they felt entitled them to take over the worship service. They were not only embarrassing their husbands, but they were usurping the authority of the elders and pastors.

It is in this light that head coverings must be understood. Women commonly wore head coverings in ancient Middle East cultures as a symbol of respect. In the Corinthian church, some women were tossing aside their head coverings to declare, “I am under nobody’s authority, “ a statement that was offensive to cultural sensibilities.  This passage is often lifted from its context and, therefore, completely misunderstood. Paul is not opposed to certain styles of clothing for women or particular hair fashions for men. On the contrary, he encourages Christians to respect cultural fashions and norms for the sake of the gospel. Women wore head coverings and men did not have long, flowing hair. (Men often wore shoulder length hair, but hair extending to a man’s waist was considered feminine. Even the definition of long is culturally conditioned!)

The larger issue in this passage is respect in worship. The heart is really at the heart of this issue. We are all called to be like Christ, who was submissive to the Father. Respect for authority is something Jesus demonstrated by his life. Our outward actions should reflect our inner disposition of humility.

Psalm 145

Here is a psalm of praise to God for all His mighty works, including His compassion.   “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (vv. 8-9). And this great God grants us our desires. “He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (v. 19). So praise Him!

Psalm 146

Our trust is in the Lord, not in man. “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save” (v. 3). It’s all about who you know is still an appropriate trope, as long as you are talking about the Lord! A relationship with the prince, or any other person of strength, can serve you well, but ultimately your hope does not rest in him coming through for you. The One to put your faith in is the Lord who reigns forever (v. 10).

Psalm 147

Sing praise to the God who does great things for us! Sing praise to the God who blesses the city, in this case, Jerusalem. He lifts up the humble and cares for the poor. He causes it to rain and feeds the cattle. He blesses the people and protects the nation. He is even sovereign over the seasons of the year, He sends snow and causes it to melt. And He gives us His Word. So grab a handy instrument as the psalmist suggests in verse 7, and sing to Him.


Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.