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Small beginnings mark the growth of God’s reign. A tiny, seemingly insignificant mustard seed can yield a flourishing tree—a tree large enough for birds to live in, produce buds from which to multiply other trees, and provide an awning for rest. This parable reveals the workings of the kingdom of...

God, help me to see that all the good I do, no matter how insignificant I may think it is, points to your reign over both the physical and spiritual world. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 24–30, 2017
Scripture Overview

In the Genesis text, Jacob the trickster is tricked. Yet through a combination of patience and perseverance he ultimately wins Rachel, which sets the stage for all that follows in the story of Abraham’s family. Psalm 105 addresses a forgetful community that has lost touch with the God of the Exodus. Remembering becomes a powerful experience when it focuses on both God’s actions and God’s judgments. Romans 8 also serves as a reminder of God’s way, of God’s movements from knowledge to action, from saving grace to promised glory. The scribe of Matthew’s short parable brings out of the store- house both what is new and what is old. There is no true future without a remembrance of the past.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 29:15-28. When have you experienced a setback due to poor treatment at the hands of someone you trusted? What did you learn?
• Read Psalm 105:1-11, 45b. How do you “seek God’s face”? How do you offer thanks to God?
• Read Romans 8:26-39. Consider Paul’s three questions and formulate a one- or two-sentence answer of your own.
• Read Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. How do the parables about what the kingdom of God is like surprise you? How do they shock you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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Patience

"Patience requires us to slow down, pay attention, and see God in the midst of our frustration. When you get impatient, ask God what God would like you to see in that moment." Read More . . .