Jesus responds to Nicodemus’s questions with a reference to a curious part of the Israelite story: Moses’ creation of a bronze serpent statue to protect the Israelites from dying from snake bites in the wilderness (see Numbers 21:4-9), a statue that later had to be destroyed because it had become...
Lord, my protector and keeper, you have lifted up your Son for my salvation. Give me courage to step out from my own comfort zone so that my images of you never become idols. Amen.
The readings for this week provide an overview of the history of God’s people. Genesis recounts the story of Abraham, who because of his great faith leaves his home and goes to a land that God has promised to show him. The psalmist speaks for the descendants of Abraham, who trust the Lord to watch over them and be their helper. Paul in Romans argues against those who believe that God’s grace is a result of correctly following religious law. It is Abraham’s faith (for there is no law in Abraham’s time) that prompts him to follow God, and for this he is commended. John emphasizes that the story of Jesus is the continuation of a relationship with God’s faithful people that began with Abraham and continued through Moses.
Read Genesis 12:1-4a. Recall a major and a minor crossroads in your life. How did you listen for God’s call during each time?
Read Psalm 121. Reflect on the times in your life when this psalm has most strongly resonated with you. How do your strongest emotions point you to God’s presence?
Read Romans 4:1-5, 13-17. What motivates you to do good works? How do you balance “faith alone” and the action to which God calls you?
Read John 3:1-17. How do you hear again the powerful words of verses so familiar that they permeate culture? What makes these words fresh for you?
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