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In Old Testament times, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year to offer atonement for Israel’s sins. The high priest readied himself for the extensive liturgy and performance of rituals. The ceremony involved multiple changes of clothes. The priestly garb included bells on its hem that...

Jesus, thank you for paying the price so I can enjoy God’s presence without fear. Forgive me for the times I have forgotten the value of your sacrifice. May I express my gratitude daily and treat your gift with utmost humility. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
November 12–18, 2018
Scripture Overview

The inability to have a child brings pain to many today, and this was equally true in ancient times. In that context it was sometimes even worse, for Peninnah openly ridicules Hannah for being unable to conceive. But as a result of her desperate, heartfelt prayer, God blesses Hannah with a son, Samuel, who will become a powerful prophet. Hannah then rejoices in a God who exalts the poor and needy. Hannah provides an example of the boldness with which we also can approach God now because of Christ’s sacrifice. The destruction of Jerusalem is the focus of the passage in Mark. Jesus here predicts the demolition of the Temple and the city, which the Romans executed in 70 ce.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read 1 Samuel 1:4-20. When have you felt trapped by circumstances not of your own making? How did the situation resolve itself?
• Read 1 Samuel 2:1-10. When has a situation in your life changed because you persisted in prayer? What did that experience teach you?
• Read Hebrews 10:11-25. Do you perceive God’s remembering your sin no more as encouragement or license? Why?
• Read Mark 13:1-8. What signs make you anxious about the world’s future? What helps you rest easier?

Respond by posting a prayer.

In Solitude

"In solitude we discover that we are not what we do but what we are given; that we are not the result of our judgments but born out of God's love." Read more.