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What does it mean to run a race surrounded by witnesses? In the first Olympics of modern times in 1896, the crowd not only cheered but literally surrounded one runner. The games had returned to their place of origin in Greece to inaugurate a new era. One of the largest...

Lord, give me a cheering section, and make me a cheering section for someone else. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
August 12–18, 2019
Scripture Overview

Isaiah compares the people of Israel to a vineyard that God has planted. However, the grapes that grow there have become wild. There is no justice, no right living in the vineyard so God is considering letting it be destroyed. The psalmist bemoans the state of God’s people using the same metaphor. The vineyard has been overrun, burned, and cut down. The psalmist appeals to God to restore the vineyard. The author of Hebrews presents many more examples of people of faith in past times. All these exemplars now surround us and cheer us on in our life of faith. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus cautions that following the gospel requires full commitment. For some, this will mean tension in relationships, even within families. Following Jesus is not a commitment of convenience.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 5:1-7. Recall a time when you lovingly prepared a place. What would prompt you to destroy it?
Read Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19. How has God restored you when you have been at your most vulnerable?
Read Hebrews 11:29–12:2. Who makes up your personal Faith Hall of Fame? How does each person cheer you on in your spiritual journey?
Read Luke 12:49-56. What does it mean for your life of faith for Jesus to have come to bring division?

Respond by posting a prayer.

The Wondrous Mystery

"If we are disciples of [Jesus'] life, we will above all be reconcilers, seeking always to bring together those who are estranged..." Read more.