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God redeems; God pulls us from the pits of despair, destruction, and death. We may find ourselves in dark places either through our own sin or the sins of others or simply because life has taken a difficult or tragic turn. This passage reminds us that our God takes pleasure...

Today, great God, remind me of your redeeming power found in your faithfulness to me and others in moments of despair and trouble. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
March 5–11, 2018
Scripture Overview

Sometimes we get ourselves into trouble by our words and actions. It’s okay to admit it. It happens to all of us. The Israelites experienced this when their constant grumbling provoked God’s wrath in Numbers 21. Yet even in this story, God provides the means of salvation. The psalmist echoes the refrain that when we put ourselves in bad positions, we may cry out to the Lord for deliverance. We read in Ephesians that all of us were living in disobedience to God, but God has done all the work of reconciliation by grace given through Christ Jesus. John ties all this together, gesturing to the story in Numbers 21 to teach us that Christ is the means of restoration and salvation for all who believe in him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Numbers 21:4-9. When has your complaining distorted your sense of reality? How do you maintain a sense of God’s presence?
• Read Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22. Consider implementing a practice of rising from sleep to give God thanks and to call to mind the many ways God works in your life.
• Read Ephesians 2:1-10. Does your sense of God’s salvation engender a sense of grace within you and a desire to do good? Why or why not?
• Read John 3:14-21. Do you consider yourself a creature of light or darkness? Why?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Rev. dr. richard h. gentzler  jr

Missing an Opportunity

"I am concerned about our aging church membership, not out of fear that we are becoming an 'old' church; rather, my concern is that churches are missing an opportunity to help build the Kingdom of God with older adults." Read more . . .