Today’s the day! Today God is pouring grace all over us, believe it or not. Today is the day when God’s grace anoints us as a place where heaven and earth connect, like the stone near which Jacob saw angels ascending and descending.

Yes, I know: most days don’t feel so revelatory or reassuring. But then, God is a surprise. Gracious love heals but doesn’t always soothe us. It comes wrapped in such wild disguises!

Take parenthood, for example. When I was pregnant, then as a new mother, I read books about child development and parenting. But the child I imagined wasn’t the child who developed right before me. I thought he would be quiet and thoughtful, a reader like me, enjoying school, drawing, daydreaming. I would explain everything; he would understand and comply. Instead, he was a physical, energetic boy who wore Superman underwear with an old beach towel pinned to his shoulders as he sped his big wheel off the edge of our deck, yelling, “Yahoo!” (Forget “Mr. Rogers.” His favorite TV show was “The Dukes of Hazzard.”) He followed our dog down an old logging road along the crest of a hill into the woods—miles of woods. It was January, snowing.

So grace in parenting has often come in sudden shocks. I asked, “What do I do now?” Sometimes grace has come slowly, when my answers proved faulty and my enforcement too uncertain. Inadequacy was the real means of grace; it stripped away my anxious self-reliance. Eventually, I learned how best to love him: to relish the humor and to take the long view, leaning back into the One who embraces without comparison, without measure, without end.

Today is always the day of salvation. Let go of what you thought you wanted. Lift your head to love’s anointing.

Your grace frees us readily, Lord, but we are slow to see the offer. Open our hands. Teach us to say “yes” and “thank you.” Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Mark 4:35-41

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Lectionary Week
June 14–20, 2021
Scripture Overview

As children of God, we will face opposition; but God will ultimately give us victory. The psalmist cries out to God asking for deliverance from oppression at the hands of his enemies and concludes the psalm with the assurance that God will do so. Tradition credits this psalm to David, who as a boy had risked his life against Goliath based on that same assurance. Goliath mocked the Israelites and their God, but God gave the victory. Paul recounts his sufferings for the gospel, yet he is not overcome or in despair, for he trusts in God. Jesus calms a storm and is disappointed that the disciples show so little faith. Why do they not believe in God’s deliverance? And what about us? Do we still believe in God’s deliverance?

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 1 Samuel 17:1a, 4-11, 19-23, 32-49. What “armor” do you use to protect yourself? When have you found the courage to put aside your armor because it was holding you back?
Read Psalm 9:9-20. When have you been provoked to cry out, “Rise up, O Lord?” On whose behalf did you cry?
Read 2 Corinthians 6:1-13. How have you commended yourself as a servant of God?
Read Mark 4:35-41. How do you find the quiet center when the storms of life rage around you?

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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