Our humanity is challenged every day. Something is always happening that needs to be fixed or taken care of. We never seem to be able to put down a period.

Also, being fully human is often challenging. Being the person God created us to be takes great intentionality. We believe that every person is gifted in some way. We need to know how we are gifted and how to use the gifts that we have been given. The most contented and assured people are those who let their God-given gifts flow through their lives. This is one fact of being truly human.

I am a spouse, father, brother, pastor, teacher, friend, colleague, and neighbor. Our natural, God-given gifts can be helpful in all these relationships. We experience both satisfaction and failure in all these connections. In each of our relationships, we realize that being the naturally gifted person that God created us to be can be pleasant or grueling.

Moving through the maze of life can cause us to commit the sin of omission. It is not what we do; it is what we fail to do that puts our witness in jeopardy. We sin when we fail to use our gifts to increase love. We do not need to make a splash. All that is needed are small acts of charity. We need to be attentive to the use of our gifts because the world is waiting for our expressions of love.

It would take much more space than I have here for me to list all of the times I have been guilty of the sin of lack and lapse. The words of Psalm 51 bring comfort to me. God does not abandon me. God both holds me and holds me accountable.

Even though I have sinned, O God, please do not cast me away. Cleanse me. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 6:24-35

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Lectionary Week
July 26–August 1, 2021
Scripture Overview

David thinks he has gotten away with his sins, but God sends Nathan to tell David a story. The story angers David, but Nathan reveals that the story is really about David’s own behavior. Indeed, it can be tempting to condemn others’ sin, while we justify our own. Psalm 51 is David’s appeal to God for forgiveness and restoration. If we want to please God in our own lives, what does this look like? Ephesians tells us that the signs of a redeemed life include humility, love, patience, and building up one another (the opposite of what David displayed). In John, Jesus has crowds following him because they want a free meal. The lasting nourishment they truly need, Jesus teaches, comes through believing that God has sent him.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read 2 Samuel 11:26–12:13a. When has someone else helped you see that you have sinned? How did you respond to that person?
Read Psalm 51:1-12. When have you felt “unclean” before God? How did God restore you?
Read Ephesians 4:1-16. What are your gifts? How do you use them to build up the body of Christ?
Read John 6:24-35. How do you feed your soul?

Respond by posting a prayer.

This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”


Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.