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Fifty kids and leaders tumbled out of the minivans and car pools that carried them to the Bible school field trip at the community garden. Half an hour later, after instructions from the garden stewards, the kids busily harvested ripe carrots out of the ground for use at local food...

Gracious God, love comes from the inside out. Please come into our hearts with your love. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 27 – September 2, 2018
Scripture Overview

The poetry of Song of Solomon is thick with romantic imagery, and most scholars agree that these lines mean what they say on the surface; they are written from the author to the beloved. Psalm 45 echoes the refrain of admiration and desire. Such desire is not wrong if it is awakened at the proper time, as the author of Song of Solomon says elsewhere. James argues that ethical living is done not in word but in deed. True religion is not putting on a show but displaying mercy and controlling the tongue. Jesus rebukes some of the religious leaders in Mark on this very account because they talk of obedience to God but do not live it out. What we say and what we do should match.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13. The narrative poetry of Song of Solomon invites us into the Bible in a way that differs from other texts. How does God speak to you through this poetry?
• Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9. Intimate human love can reflect God’s love. How do your relationships honor the gift of love?
• James 1:17-27. How do you bring God’s love to those who need it?
• Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Are you simply going through the motions of faith, or is your heart close to God?

Respond by posting a prayer.

A Valued Resource

"We use The Upper Room Disciplines as a daily devotion and weekly Bible study session for several church groups. We have used it for five years and are quite pleased. We like the reflection questions and variety of contributors." 

Read more about The Upper Room Disciplines.