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Abraham faces a dif cult situation. The mothers of his pre- cious children are jealous of each other, and he knows he cannot maintain the situation—a distressing time. The teller of the story does not belabor the point, but Abraham’s choices will in uence the path of this story of...

God of the big picture and the grand plan, help us to see your grace at work in the challenges of our small stories and in every detail of our lives. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
June 19–25, 2017
Scripture Overview

Implicit in the story of Hagar and Ishmael is the threat to Isaac and to God’s promises to Abraham and Sarah. The psalmist captures the terror by unnamed forms of destruction that may threaten an individual or people. Paul raises the specter of that most universal threat—death—but does so within the context of the new life won by Christ’s resurrection. Matthew describes various ways in which the enemies of Jesus threaten his disciples because of their association with him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 21:8-21. When have you felt burdened and outcast? What was your experience of God’s hearing you where you were?
• Read Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17. Do you pray in the confidence that God hears and will answer your pleas? If not, how could you learn to pray in that manner?
• Read Romans 6:1b-11. Paul speaks of dying to self and rising with Christ. How has your Christian faith given you a sense of freedom from sin?
• Read Matthew 10:24-39. What makes God’s presence real to you? How does God’s intimate knowledge of you—the number of hairs on your head—make you feel?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Kateb

Discovery Weekend Changed Me and Our Church.

"Discovery Weekend changed me. I now have a better and stronger relationship with God because of it. Also, it has changed our church because people from all grades got closer together." (Discovery Weekend is an Upper Room spiritual formation experience for middle schoolers).