LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; Lord our world needs Your love. Our world is so broken. Only You can bring about true restoration. Help us to be part of Your will and healing work, and not part of the problem. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG Below are some more quotes from the book, I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations. It offers a reflection on how to talk when we don’t agree. And here’s the thing, we will disagree, it’s bound to happen so how do we lovingly, graciously, patiently actually listen to people we don’t agree with and still love them? “In 1968, elementary school teacher Jane Elliott conducted a famous experiment with her students in the days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She divided the class by eye color. The brown-eyed children were told they were better. They were the “in-group.” The blue-eyed children were told they were less than the brown-eyed children—hence becoming the “out-group.” Suddenly, former classmates who had once played happily side by side were taunting and torturing one another on the playground. Lest we assign greater morality to the “out-group,” the blue-eyed children were just as quick to attack the brown-eyed children once the roles were reversed. Since Elliott’s experiment, researchers have conducted thousands of studies to understand the in-group/out-group response. Now, with MRI scans, these researchers can actually see which parts of our brains fire up when perceiving a member of an out-group. In a phenomenon called the out-group homogeneity effect, we are more likely to see members of our groups as unique and individually motivated—and more likely to see a member of the out-group as the same as everyone else in that group. When we encounter this out-group member, our amygdala—the part of our brain that processes anger and fear—is more likely to become active. The more we perceive this person outside our group as a threat, the more willing we are to treat them badly.” “Participating in the political process is a spiritual imperative, but we should participate as an expression of our faith, not as a fulfillment of our faith. In other words, faith or values should inform rather than define our votes, opinions, and ways of talking with our neighbors about the future of the country. When we’re participating …with our feet grounded in our values, there is no room for bitter partisanship.” Events continue to ignite the political division and anger, WE ARE THE CHURCH first and foremost, especially on social media let’s not forget that!
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/isaiah/ for an overview of Isaiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/galatians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Isaiah 44:24-46:13 Chapter 44 ends with some statements about God. What are some of the things he has done? Isaiah continues with God mentioning how he will use Cyrus, the king of Syria to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. In 45:4-5 God highlights what particular fact about Cyrus? God’s use of Cyrus is obviously a touchy subject for Israel? God will use a series of questions to tease this idea out. Re-read 45:9-10. What do you do with this? Go on to read 11-13. What will God do in verse 13 with Cyrus? Chapter 46 goes on to talk about idols. In verse 1 we see that idols need to be carried. Whereas in verse 4 who does the carrying? Once again, we see this comparison between an idol and God, and once again I ask, what are the modern day idols, the things we turn to? Galatians 4:21-5:6 Using the image of Sarah and Hagar, Paul is making the point that to follow the Law, now that Christ has come, would be like returning to slavery. Whereas following Christ, is embracing the promises God has made to us. Which do you prefer? Circumcision will become this doubt, that Christ is sufficient. To return to the law, says that I don’t fully trust Christ. What is the problem with circumcision? (verse 3) I think at that at the end of the day, what we do will not look all that different, but why we do it, is what really matters. Do we obey the law to prove to God we belong, or do we obey the law to give thanks that God says we belong? Psalm 108:6-13 King David will move from praise to pleading. Without God, there is no hope. God alone gives victory. In a battle against an enemy, it would be tempting to make an alliance with a foreign nation. Whereas, what is the point David is making?