Where do you go when you nd yourself in the midst of a painful event in your life? Who will embrace you with compassion? Naturally we desire to be with loving friends and family when we experience troubling times.
Abraham acknowledges his son Isaac’s mourning the death of his mother. Recognizing that he already suffers from old age, Abraham feels driven to make every effort to provide his son with someone who will bring love and understanding into his life. Compassion moves the heart of a loving father. Sharing troubling times exempli es compassion at work.
Rebekah chooses to return with the servant to Isaac. Those of her household bless her before she sets out: “May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads; may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes.” And so we hear an echo of God’s promise to Abraham of descendants as many as the grains of sand. The promise endangered by Isaac’s being a bachelor moves toward a bright future. Isaac takes Rebekah; she becomes his wife, and he loves her.
That is how it is with God. God’s love comes to us bearing an invitation, offering a future of promise. We, like Rebekah, step into relationship. We cannot escape God’s love. Psalm 139 describes eloquently how even if we “settle at the farthest limits of the sea . . . your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.” Hope and compassion ow from the heart of our God and remind us that we are not alone.

Gracious God, I accept your invitation to relationship that steadies me in troubling times. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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Lectionary Week
July 3–9, 2017
Scripture Overview

The Genesis text tells of Abraham’s quest to find a bride for Isaac from among his own people. In opting for Isaac, Rebekah makes herself the instrument for the preservation of the promise; God’s intentions are sure. A hymn honoring the marriage commitment is a good pairing with Genesis, since the Song of Solomon addresses the sweetness of love. Romans 7 depicts a battle of human life. Here the strong desire to do good and serve God rightly is threatened by the enemy of sin. Jesus’ prayer in Matthew recalls that knowledge of sin’s defeat often comes to those “infants” to whom God has granted revelation.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67. How difficult is it for you to trust that God will act for your good, even if you nd yourself waiting?
• Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13. Whose voice have you known as beloved? How did it waken you to creation’s beauty?
• Read Romans 7:15-25a. How might you let God’s understanding love make a change in your actions?
• Read Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. Jesus offers rest for our souls. How do you tap into that wonderful offer?

Respond by posting a prayer.