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My husband served in the navy for many years. After a deployment, the families would gather at the pier to welcome the ship and the sailors home. If the sailor for whom you waited was unavailable, you would go to a holding area to wait for release to visit the...

God, redeem us from those things that hold us captive. Help us to find freedom in your reign. In our freedom, may we never forget how blessed we are. We have much to celebrate; help us to be gracious and joyful always. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 25–31, 2016
Scripture Overview

The Hosea passage portrays the agony of God, who is torn between the demands of judgment and of grace. When justice and grace are weighed in God’s balances, grace always prevails. Psalm 107’s language applies to many experiences of alienation. Lostness, hunger, thirst, and weariness characterize the condition of those cut off from God; yet if they seem abandoned, they are not. God has guided them out of the desert and back to their homes once again. The freedom to live in goodness is the subject of Colossians. The passage points read- ers beyond “things that are on earth” to “things that are above.” Freedom from greed is the focus of Luke 12:13-21, a text that addresses the dif cult issue of how the Christian is to deny the temptations of materialism while living in a very material world. The farmer is not condemned because he worked to produce a bumper crop, but his demise is viewed as tragic because he wrongly believed that his bulging barns would be his salvation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Hosea 11:1-11. God’s constant love, mercy, and grace allow for transformation. What would it be like if our sys- tems employed a justice designed to transform?
• Read Psalm 107:1-9, 43. From what captivity has God redeemed you?
• Read Colossians 3:1-11. What do you need to take away from your life in order to clothe yourself with the practices that re ect the image of God?
• Read Luke 12:13-21. How can you feel more satis ed with what you have? How will this allow you to share more with others?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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God is at work

Discovery Weekend was an incredible opportunity and a great learning experience. I got to see the kingdom of God work within all the kids, which showed me how present Christ is throughout our lives and the amount of love and forgiveness that can be found in others.”