“Everything happens for a reason.” That’s what well-meaning people often say when things go terribly wrong in someone else’s life: the loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or even the death of a loved one. Sometimes it feels easier to accept that something bad has happened if...

We are grateful, O God, for your comforting presence that bears us up when we don’t even know how to pray. Remind us today that no matter what we face in life, you are with us. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
July 24–30, 2023
Scripture Overview

Jacob has tricked his brother out of his birthright and has tricked his blind father into blessing him instead of his older brother. This week the trickster is tricked, and his desire to marry Rachel will cost him dearly. The psalmist reflects on the faithfulness of God. God has made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the author is confident that God will honor that covenant. Paul builds upon his argument to the Romans about the power of the Spirit. The Spirit helps us pray to connect with God, and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Jesus continues to teach about the kingdom of God using parables. Finding our way into the kingdom is worth far more than anything else.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Genesis 29:15-28. How does a wise faith help you discern between differing loves?Read Psalm 105:1-11, 45b. How is your faith journey an extension of God’s covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?Read Romans 8:26-39. How have you experienced prayer as an opening of yourself to God’s Spirit rather than a petition for yourself or others?Read Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52. How are you growing in Christ? If your faith has become stagnant, what “sorting” might help you to continue to grow toward proficiency in being Christlike?

Respond by posting a prayer.