Today’s psalm describes something every one of us has experienced: The heavens declare the glory of God. Whether we’re captivated by a mountain on the horizon, early mornings on a beach, or a sunset from our backyard, each of us has felt God’s presence in the beauty, holiness, and majesty of the natural world.
Nature isn’t the only thing that offers a glimpse into God’s character. Many of us know persons whose lives bear a similar witness to God’s presence. We can see a consistent, humble picture of kindness and grace in the daily lives of faithful people living out their call in our communities. They are not celebrities, nor have they chosen extraordinary paths. But day after day we observe their faithfulness to God and their goodness toward their neighbors. They leave us in awe as they evidence God’s glory as fully as a beautiful sunset or gorgeous mountain view.
Often faith can feel complicated. We struggle with how to navigate the details of life in the most faithful way. As we consider how best to love God and neighbor, we can take great encouragement from the truth of these verses. We don’t have to know the exact words to heed God’s call. Nor do our lives need to be extraordinary to point others toward Christ. Our everyday routines share the grace and kindness we’ve experienced with our communities just as loudly as our words ever could. Simply by living out the goodness we have experienced, we bear faithful witness to Christ. In the same way a sunset draws us to the beauty of God, a faithful life can speak volumes.

Loving God, may my quiet habits reflect your glory as beautifully as your natural world. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 8:27-38

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Lectionary Week
September 10–16, 2018
Scripture Overview

Through the scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God shows the paths of righteousness and warns against the ways of destruction. The writer of Proverbs describes this as the voice of Wisdom crying out, yet some refuse to listen—to their peril. The psalmist rejoices in the law of the Lord, for God’s decrees teach us how to live well. Living a godly life includes paying attention to our speech. How can we, James asks, praise God with our lips and then curse others with those same lips? Peter is tripped up by his words in Mark. He declares Jesus to be the Messiah, yet in the next scene he recklessly rebukes Jesus for speaking of his death. Our words matter, and God desires purity and consistency.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Proverbs 1:20-33. How clearly can you hear Wisdom’s call? What keeps you from answering?
• Read Psalm 19. How do your words and your heart’s meditations reflect your faith? Do you think God finds them acceptable?
• Read James 3:1-12. Consider your words. Do they honor the image of God in those to whom you speak?
• Read Mark 8:27-38. When has God called you to be silent? Were you better able to hear an unexpected call from God?

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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