The majesty of creation is central. The heart of the image in this section is life, specifically, life springing joyfully from water—rain and snow from above. This very rain and snow cause the earth to bloom with life, “giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.” If you’ve ever taken a biology class in school, you know the importance of rain and snow to life.
Here, though, the water means more: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth,” God says. This is not a simple metaphoric glimpse into the water cycle. This is about God’s word that gives life, creates and succeeds in God’s purpose. It is water for the soul, water of life—a thing of the world becoming something of spirit. That theme runs throughout this week’s scripture readings. God’s word does not return empty.
The word of God accomplishes God’s purpose—repentance, renewal, and salvation, just as waters wash clean and bring forth life. This is God’s work done by way of God’s word proclaimed, “You shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the eld shall clap their hands.” All creation celebrates the promise and work of God’s word. The God of renewal and pardon invites repentance. We are called to turn toward the living God, for the water of God’s holy word nourishes our joy.

God of creation, send your water to wake new life in us. May we follow your word and be ever mindful of your path. Bring us back to your living water. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

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Lectionary Week
July 10–16, 2017
Scripture Overview

Genesis 25 marks the beginning of the narrative of Jacob’s life. The theme that stands out in starkest relief is the election of Jacob to be the heir to the promise—Jacob, who has no claim to be the heir except that which the grace of God bestows. Psalm 25 re ects a general sense of alienation. Yet the psalmist expresses con dence in following God’s paths and truths. Paul sets out two polarities in Romans 8: those who “live according to the flesh and those who “live according to the Spirit,” a cosmic duality related to the rule of sin and the rule of God. The parable of the sower and the seeds in Matthew 13 is an object lesson in the mysterious grace of God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 25:19-34. When in your life have you experienced favoritism from a parent, friend, coworker, or boss that created division?
• Read Psalm 119:105-112. The psalmist promises to follow God’s law every day in every aspect of his life—despite his circumstances. When did you last renew and affirm your commitment to God through daily obedience?
• Read Romans 8:1-11. How have you attempted to fill the “God-shaped” hole in your life?
• Read Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23. What kind of soil are you? How bountiful a harvest do you produce for God?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”


Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.