The beauty of music is not only the sound or the beat but the human interaction with whatever is making the sound. A tambourine needs hands to make the cymbals hit each other. A lyre needs fingers to pluck the strings.

The psalmist proclaims that we are to create new...

Gracious God, make us instruments of love. Guide us to be bearers of justice. Be our conductor as we make a joyful noise to you. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
September 4–10, 2023
Scripture Overview

We move forward in the story of Moses to the climax in Egypt, the tenth plague. God tells the Israelites to prepare for the terrible night to come and establishes the feast of Passover. It is to be an eternal reminder of what God has done for the people. The psalmist praises God for faithfulness and victory, including overthrowing those who would oppress them. Egypt is not mentioned specifically, yet the Passover represents just such a situation. Paul echoes Jesus in summarizing much of the Law in one simple commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus provides practical teaching on handling disagreements. Our first responsibility is to go to the other party privately and then include others only as necessary. Gossip and social media are not the ways to handle our disputes.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Exodus 12:1-14. How has the story of Passover shaped your faith?Read Psalm 149. How has God called you to seek freedom from oppression for yourself or others through praise and through action?Read Romans 13:8-14. What does it mean to consider love a driving force rather than a warm feeling? How does this understanding change the way you act toward yourself and your neighbors?Read Matthew 18:15-20. When have you participated in or witnessed true reconciliation? How did you see compassion at work?

Respond by posting a prayer.

The RESILIENCE conference in 2021 was so uplifting and nourishing. It was wonderful to be with other Christians around the world at this retreat, who truly care about responding to trauma in a compassionate way by teaching spiritual practices to help with grounding and healing.”

Join us for the next RESILIENCE conference on September 29-30, 2023. Learn more at UpperRoom.org/resilience.