In this week when we are preparing for the LOVE that is coming, for the season of Advent, those of us who live in the United States pause for a day of Thanksgiving. This has always been my favorite holiday of the year. Throughout my life, Thanksgiving Day has been a time for family gatherings, great food, great conversation, and, at least during my younger years, a game of football among family members after the big meal.

What better way to give thanks to God than to celebrate the close ties of family and friends! My son has been part of a tradition going on ten years now of celebrating “Friendsgiving” among people whose families live far away but who can enjoy a family-like gathering among friends.

Thanksgiving reminds us of the things in life that are truly important. In the scripture passage for today, Jesus reminds us of what is ultimately important. Jesus knows how we humans can worry about everyday things: food, shelter, clothing. All these are important to us and important to God. But Jesus doesn’t want us to worry about them because worrying won’t help. Instead, Jesus invites us to put our trust in God. Such focus on God’s faithfulness makes all the difference in the world for how we think and relate to others and to our everyday needs. Jesus wants us to strive first for what we have been referring to this week as the O in LOVE: Order, the reign of God, sometimes referred to as the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says that if we strive first for the reign of God and God’s righteousness—if we make following God's commandments and Jesus’ example the first priority in the way we live our lives—“All these things will be given to you as well.”

O Lord, help us to focus on what is truly important: your reign. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 21:25-36

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Lectionary Week
November 22–28, 2021
Scripture Overview

As we prepare our hearts for Advent, the celebration of Jesus’ first coming, we remember in Jeremiah that the birth of Jesus has a deep background, a background rooted in God’s promise to David. Psalm 25, traditionally credited to David, speaks of God’s faithfulness to those who follow the paths of the Lord. David asks God to teach him to follow God’s paths even more closely. The New Testament readings actually point us toward Jesus’ second coming. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to excel in holiness and love while they wait. In Luke, Jesus discusses the coming of the kingdom in a passage that some find confusing. We note that he focuses not on the exact time frame of the arrival of the kingdom but on our need to be alert

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 33:14-16. How have you experienced the promises of God in your life?
Read Psalm 25:1-10. How has the Lord taught you and led you in the path of your life?
Read 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Is there a faith community for which you pray in joy? How else do you express your gratitude for that community?
Read Luke 21:25-36. How are you approaching Advent this year? What will you do to prepare your heart?

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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