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Peter demonstrates the nearly universal human aversion to pain and struggle—and seemingly even discussion of them. Jesus tells the disciples “quite openly” that he must suffer and die. Peter doesn’t want to hear it; he doesn’t want his friend to go through these harsh experiences. Who would desire that for...

O God, help me center my thoughts on what will honor Christ and enable me to live a life of love and grace, mirroring the grace you show us all. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
February 19–25, 2018
Scripture Overview

We cannot earn God’s love. Going back to the time of Abraham, God’s blessing has been based on faith. God chose Abraham for a covenant not because Abraham was perfect but because he believed God. The psalmist reminds his audience of their ancient relationship with God and expresses the hope that it will continue through future generations. Paul reinforces the centrality of faith in Romans. Following the law was not bad, but no one should believe that following the law could earn God’s favor. In Mark 8, Jesus pushes his disciples in their understanding of faith. Trusting God means surrendering everything, including position and reputation. If we value those things more than God, then we are not displaying the faith of Abraham.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16. No rules, just relationship. How comfortable are you in your relationship with God? Upon what does it rest?
• Read Psalm 22. Which verses are most familiar to you? In what ways does your faith journey live in the interplay of shadow and light?
• Read Romans 4:13-25. How easily do you live in God’s grace? In what areas do you find yourself “reckoning” your righteousness?
• Read Mark 8:31-38. When the world asks you who you are, what is your reply?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Herocover july18

I wish . . . when I was a child . . .

"This is absolutely lovely! How I wish I had been exposed or otherwise taught this beautiful lesson exactly as it is written here when I was a child. Going on 60 years old now, I am just coming to believe the words contained in this piece. As I look back on my life now, I suspect that my feelings of unworthiness of God’s love began at a very young age. Not explicitly, by which I mean to say that I was never told that I was not worthy of God’s love and mercy, but rather implicitly, through my experiences with simple human error and a constant focus on perfection and pleasing others. I cannot express to you how beautiful this piece is to me; I can only tell you that it touches me very deeply. Thank you!" Read more about Pockets.