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Playing favorites isn’t fair! While nepotism isn’t illegal, the practice of giving family and friends special opportunity and privilege can have demoralizing effects on others. Morale crashes. Mistrust builds. And those who don’t get a chance walk away frustrated.
Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 ensured that...

Thank you, O Lord, for including me in your eternal community. Thank you for inviting all, for welcoming all to you. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
October 16–22, 2017
Scripture Overview

In Exodus 33 Moses successfully argues that without Yahweh’s merciful presence Israel is no nation and that Yahweh’s and Moses’ efforts have come to naught. Psalm 99 mentions Yahweh’s royal rule, which brings to mind the human agents of that rule: Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. Each of these leaders facilitated Yahweh’s conversation with the people and Yahweh’s rule over them. The opening lines from First Thessalonians raise a question about the church’s understanding of evangelism. Paul and his coworkers experience a change in themselves because of the Thessalonians, who become a living proclamation of the gospel by virtue of their ready acceptance of it. In the Gospel reading, Jesus answers a question with a question and confuses his “audience” both then and today.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Exodus 33:12-23. When have you most longed for a glimpse of God’s glory? How did God give you the assurance you needed?
• Read Psalm 99. Where in your life is forgiveness needed to restore a loving relationship? How have you experienced “a forgiving God”?
• Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. As your Christian faith has developed, how have you seen it move “from head to heart to hands”?
• Read Matthew 22:15-22. How do you give to God “the things that are God’s”? What are some of those things Jesus wants you to give?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Pockets cover

"It was my first year at my new school . . .

and I was making a ton of friends. There was one girl who always got picked on for her height. Nobody wanted to be her friend." Read more about Pockets.