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Living peaceably with everyone is difficult in a violent world. Daily we hear news reports of death and destruction that result from human greed and oppressive structures. Even Christians find it hard to overcome the desire to repay evil for evil. And yet that is what God calls us to...

Christ our Savior, help us walk closely with you as we seek to follow your example and be people of love. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 28–September 3, 2017
Scripture Overview

In Exodus 3, Moses is moved to inspect the bush because it is an oddity, and in so doing he encounters the presence of the living God. Not even Moses could be prepared for the challenge that ensues. Psalm 105 recites God’s great acts of mercy in Israel’s life; in this instance, focusing on Moses and Aaron. The key verb here is “sent,” and its subject is God. In Romans 12, Paul takes the notion of covenant demand and expounds on it. Christians are called not simply to keep rules; they are transformed and readied for new life in the world. Paul provides an inventory of new life for those who are changed and renewed by the gospel. The Gospel reading is one of Jesus’ most acute reflections on the obedience expected of the faithful. He announces his own destiny of suffering obedience and invites his disciples to share in that radical destiny. For the faithful, there is no “business as usual”; it’s a divine call that brings challenge.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 3:1-15. Have you experienced God’s call to something you felt ill-equipped for? What did you say to God? to yourself?
• Read Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c. How difficult is it for you to praise God in the midst of turmoil? Why?
• Read Romans 12:9-21. Where in your life do you have opportunities to bless those who curse you?
• Read Matthew 16:21-28. What does your call to discipleship in Christ cost you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

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It is mission critical that we ground ourselves . . .

“As spiritual leaders, it is mission-critical that we ground ourselves in spiritual practices that will strengthen our congregations during challenging times. We must tend to the soulof the congregation, to the heart of our call of being disciple-making congregations.” Read more.