My passion is wildlife photography. Over the years I have learned you can’t force nature to give you a great picture. The animals and the light follow their own schedules and are not interested in making a good picture. I have lots of favorite photos, but the one that moves...

Elohim, you are a master builder. Your creation testifies to your glory. Let me bask in your artistic prowess, appreciating every detail under your skies. Allow me to reflect the earth's beauty in each beat of my heart and word from my lips. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
October 2–8, 2023
Scripture Overview

A common theme this week is the danger of self-absorption. When we are young, we may struggle to understand the importance of rules because we think that our individual freedom is the highest good. God gives the Israelites commandments to guide their relationships with God and others. These laws will help them thrive because God knows what is best for us. The psalmist understands this: The laws of the Lord are good and sweet. Self-absorption might also lead to pride. Paul shows that a true understanding of the gospel means laying aside our rights in the knowledge that God will reward us. In a parable about the rejection of the prophets and Jesus, servants seek to seize a vineyard for themselves, unwisely ignoring that the owner will eventually reclaim what is his.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20. Recall your earliest experiences with the Ten Commandments. How do they continue to shape your understanding of God’s expectations?Read Psalm 19. How does the natural world call you to follow God?Read Philippians 3:4b-14. Whom do you emulate? What would it mean for you to emulate Christ in life and in death?Read Matthew 21:33-46. When have you participated in or witnessed the rejection of one who could be God in disguise? How might things be different if you had recognized that person as a potential cornerstone of your community?

Respond by posting a prayer.