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If is a powerful little word! The English language defines it as a conjunction that introduces a conditional thought. “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side” can bring to mind thoughts of death and destruction. Ultimately, though, this little if leads to wonderful verses of...

Thank you, God, for your ever-present protection and guidance. Thank you that the ifs in my life have not overtaken me. Blessed are you, O God! Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 21–27, 2017
Scripture Overview

All the texts bear witness to the rich and powerful sovereignty of God, who generously gives life. In the Exodus text, both the future of Israel and the future of God’s plans for all humanity are imperiled. At one level, the infant is saved only by the cunning of his mother and sister and by the compassion of the Egyptian princess; but, truthfully, Moses is saved only by the grace of God. Psalm 124 looks beyond the birth of Moses to the moment of the Exodus and celebrates with great joy God’s redemption of the people. Only by God’s help can humans nd life and freedom. In Romans 12 Paul calls for the transformation of the person through the power of God. We are to “be transformed,” thus placing primary emphasis on the activity of God in the life of the Christian. The Gospel reading is a confession of Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. Matthew emphasizes the rootedness of the church in the disciples’ recognition of Jesus’ messianic nature.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 1:8–2:10. When have you had a scary experience that God’s “grand plan” made successful?
• Read Psalm 124. Looking back on your life, where can you see God’s hand guiding you through rough times?
• Read Romans 12:1-8. Take time to answer the writer’s ques- tion: “How are you using your gifts in your church and in your community?”
• Read Matthew 16:13-20. Who do you say Jesus is?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Whitney

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