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Jesus’ declaration that he has come not to bring peace but to bring division is unsettling. Images of a peaceable kingdom where lions lie down with lambs float further away as we see Jesus’ ministry causing more conflict than it resolves.

Since history is always written afterward, the authors of...

Lord, be our peace in the storms of our lives. 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.

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"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." 

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