Gilead, Nineveh, Damascus, Beersheba, Galilee. The place names of the Bible echo back to Sunday-school childhood and thousands of years before that—names forged out of the mysterious encounter of human and divine.
Isaiah features the crowning biblical place name, Jerusalem, and its renaming, a sign of God’s special devotion to...
Eternal Spirit, thank you for the renewal and astonishment we find in the Bible, in the witnesses who encountered you there, in the towns and cities where your name was first heard and raised up. Keep us open to scripture’s power each day. Amen.
Popular conceptions of God sometimes mislead us. Messages coming even from within Christianity sometimes make us think that God is constantly angry, just waiting for us to slip up. This week’s readings remind us of the truth. Isaiah teaches us that God delights in God’s people just as a groom delights in his bride. This love, the psalmist proclaims, is steadfast and never-ending. The life of Jesus shows us that God even wants us to have a good time in this life. Jesus chooses a wedding as the place to perform his first sign. He multiplies the wine in order to multiply the enjoyment of the guests. Paul in First Corinthians speaks of spiritual gifts. These gifts are all given by God for the good of the entire community.
Read Isaiah 62:1-5. Recall a time when you have flourished and a time when your life was far from peace and order. How did you feel God’s delight in each situation?
Read Psalm 36:5-10. When have you felt God’s light or taken refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. How can you use your God-given gifts to complement others’ and to support the common good?
Read John 2:1-11. How do Jesus’ miracles help you to understand his identity as the Son of God?
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