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Imagine an ideal political leader or Supreme Court justice. What skills would he or she possess? What characteristics might be her trademarks? What might he wear? A belt of righteousness or of faithfulness might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Judges using neither their eyes nor ears...

Lord of all, grow your new life into my life. Help me not to judge by hearsay or appearances but by what is faithful, just, and loving. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
December 2–8, 2019
Scripture Overview

The readings from the Hebrew scriptures look forward to the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah describes a root from the family of Jesse, that is the family of David, that will rule fairly and usher in an age of peace. The psalmist extols the virtues of a royal son who defends the poor and the oppressed and causes righteousness and peace to abound. Christians traditionally read these psalms as prophecies about Jesus Christ. Paul in Romans quotes several prophetic passages from the Hebrew scriptures, but he begins by emphasizing that those writings were given for our instruction. Christianity without the Hebrew scriptures lacks its foundations. Just as we prepare our hearts during Advent for the arrival of the Christ child, John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus in Matthew.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 11:1-10. What appeals to you in Isaiah’s vision for The Peaceable Kingdom? What challenges you?
Read Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19. Consider the ways you lead in your church, community, or work. How do you nurture the life God has created in these environments? How can you better lead toward God’s righteousness, justice, and peace?
Read Romans 15:4-13. How can you welcome others as Christ has welcomed you?
Read Matthew 3:1-12. How can you prepare yourself to accept a wild or risky proclamation of God’s kingdom?

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.