When marathoners go on long-distance runs, we carry a few essentials. I take a headlamp because it is dark when I run at 4:30 a.m. I need to see the path in front of me, and I do not like to fall. I always take water because my body needs to be hydrated. I take food to refuel my body on the three-hour journey. I like to wear a hat because when the sun rises, I can use a little shade in front of my eyes; the hat eases the effects of the sun. The most essential thing is an encouraging attitude. I train with a group of runners who, like me, use encouragement to persevere and complete the run.
Every life journey requires its essentials, and our faith journey is no different. Paul, in his letter to the church at Ephesus, teaches us to live a life worthy of our calling. Paul lays out the essentials we carry with us as we run our journey of faith. Humility helps us relate to others. The gentleness we wear in our attitudes helps us serve our neighbors as Christ would serve them. Patience is a disguised way of expressing our love to those around us, and a loving attitude is the way Jesus told us others would know we are his. Most significantly, we can’t forget to make every effort to maintain unity through the bond of peace.
As we embrace these characteristics, we are reminded of our need for one another within the body of Christ. I am glad that we do not walk alone in this Christian journey. I rejoice that God has given us one another as partners in this worthy calling of faith.

Lord, today I embrace a humble, gentle, and patient attitude as I seek to live a worthy life. It’s not always easy to love and live with my brothers and sisters, so I ask that I will bear those difficulties in love. May unity be evident through the peace I carry in my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 6:24-35

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Lectionary Week
July 30 – August 5, 2018
Scripture Overview

David thinks he has gotten away with adultery and murder, but God sends Nathan to tell David a story. The story angers David, but Nathan reveals that the story is really about David’s own sin. Indeed, it can be tempting to condemn others’ sin, while we justify our own sin. Psalm 51 is David’s appeal to God for forgiveness and restoration. If we want to please God in our own lives, what does this look like? Ephesians tells us that the signs of a redeemed life include humility, love, patience, and building up one another (the opposite of what David displayed). In John, Jesus has crowds following him because they want a free meal. The lasting nourishment they truly need, Jesus teaches, comes through believing that God has sent him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 2 Samuel 11:26–12:13a. The Lord has put away your sins. How has God’s forgiveness changed your life?
• Read Psalm 51:1-12. When have you felt “unclean” before God? How did God restore you?
• Read Ephesians 4:1-16. Who has been essential in your walk with Christ?
• Read John 6:24-35. God’s presence in our lives is as important as food. How do you feed your soul?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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