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Often in life, our fears obstruct our wisdom. Fears—flaming, screaming, whimpering distractions—keep us from our path. Fear is so often the enemy of what is good. This is why the scriptures tell us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of...

Courageous God, it is scary to follow your way of radical love. Help me to be less afraid of the consequences and difficulties of fidelity to your path and more afraid of missing out on what is good and right and true. If there is no escaping fear in this life, grant me the wisdom to know which fears can guide me and which fears obstruct my walk of faith. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 13–19, 2018
Scripture Overview

If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be? God offered this chance to Solomon, and the king asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. God honored this request by giving Solomon many other gifts too, as long as the king followed God’s ways. (Later on, unfortunately, Solomon lost his way.) The psalmist tells us that wisdom begins with understanding who we are and who God is. Ephesians addresses practical implications of wise living: follow the will of the Lord, be filled with the Spirit, encourage one another, and be grateful to God. The Gospel passage continues Jesus’ metaphorical description of himself as the bread of heaven. Here Jesus anticipates the sacrament of Communion, in which we partake of his body and blood by faith.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14. Why are you afraid to ask God to meet your needs or show you your call?
• Read Psalm 111. What actions dominate your quest for God? Do you remember to stop and delight in God’s love for you?
• Read Ephesians 5:15-20. How do you make the most of your time with God? How do you show others that you are filled with the Spirit?
• Read John 6:51-58. In Communion we recall Jesus’ offering of his body and blood. How has that concept been a stumbling block to you?

Respond by posting a prayer.

Vulnerability

“I believe with all my heart that vulnerability and authenticity are the only way to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. … I believe in the holistic, healing love and salvation in Jesus Christ, who walks with us in the valleys and brings beauty from ash heaps again and again and again. I am here to tell you that I have been on the mountaintops and in the valleys, and I have discovered that we need a reset in our souls. We need to share stories so that others will too. When we’re free to be real, that’s when the real joy comes.” Read more.