Get drunk on God, on music, on conversation—this is what God’s word recommends, especially when the days are evil. Unlike being drunk on wine, this sort of intoxication isn’t a form of escapism but a form of engagement, a way to resist, and a communal pledge to keep going. Think of African American spirituals—which are scripture and music and Spirit and community and resistance all rolled into one—and hear them bellowing through the streets during the Civil Rights Movement. Then you can see what I mean about empowerment versus escapism. The days indeed were evil, but God’s people “spoke to one another with psalms, and hymns, and songs from the Spirit,” and God’s people prevailed.
Recently after a national tragedy that left many of us rattled and afraid and feeling betrayed, some friends gathered together and made handmade love notes for our congregation. Men and women cut out hearts, glued construction paper, and wrote messages using words of scripture or song lyrics or simple declarations of love. We ate cookies and listened to music and sipped a bit. But mostly we filled up on love, hope, resistance, friendship, and Christ.
We didn’t change the world that day or overturn the days of evil. But we faced the times with heart and compassion and creativity, which felt a whole lot like understanding the will of the Lord.
God of justice, we know you see the suffering that exists all around us, and we confess there are days we feel swallowed up by it all and wish for a means of escape, a way to feel numb, a place to hide. But with music and song, community and friendship, you draw us back into the world to do our work. Thank you. Amen.
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.
• 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.
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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