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The psalm moves from placing full trust in God to a painful acknowledgment of our own human frailty. Whether rich or poor, powerful or disempowered, “human beings are nothing but a breath” (v. 9, ceb). The psalmist strongly contrasts humanity’s limitations with God’s goodness. We wonder then about a person’s...

Pardoning God, help us see and know the fullness of your love. When we are tempted to measure others by our own understanding of what is right, convict us. Empower us to be people who seek comfort in your love. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
January 15–21, 2018
Scripture Overview

Things are not always as they seem. To Jonah it appears that the people of Nineveh are beyond hope, so he runs away rather than going to preach to them. God has other plans; to Jonah’s surprise, the Ninevites turn to God. To our eyes, social standing and wealth may seem to divide people into different classes; but the psalmist declares that in God’s economy, all are equal and will be repaid the same. Paul echoes the theme of the temporary nature of all things in this life; they should not be our source of security. Jesus opens his ministry in Mark by proclaiming that God is breaking into history to overthrow what has been accepted as the way things are. Sometimes God’s perspective is not our perspective.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Jonah 3:1-5, 10. When have you experienced God’s call to a task you would have preferred not to undertake? What happened? What did you learn about God?
• Read Psalm 62:5-12. When have you experienced God as refuge and fortress? How do you actively embody God’s hope and offer it to others?
• Read 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. How lightly do you hold your job, your relationships, your possessions, given the passing nature of the present age?
• Read Mark 1:14-20. When have you heard Jesus call to you to follow? How did you respond?

Respond by posting a prayer.

16advent

Benediction

Today we invite you to read this Advent Benediction. Read more...