Jesus loved to tell stories. And it seems he often enjoyed confusing his listeners! His parables are designed to express a truth about God or the way of life to which God calls us. We may get tripped up by story details, which may or may not have relevance to...

God of welcome, open my heart to the gracious invitations you send me—encouragements to love, to serve, to celebrate your presence. Invitations I so often toss aside because I’m busy, don’t care, or fear them. Now, I accept them with pleasure. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
October 9–15, 2023
Scripture Overview

The texts this week remind us of how quickly we can turn away from God. Even while Moses is on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments—the first of which is not to worship any other gods—the people fashion an idol and begin to worship it. The psalmist refers to this story as evidence of how often the Israelites have gone astray, and yet God repeatedly has restored them. The parable in Matthew speaks of many who are invited to a banquet, yet they reject the invitation of the king. It is often read as a warning about turning our backs on God’s gracious invitation. Paul encourages the Philippians to seek God with confidence in difficult situations and to focus their thoughts in ways that lead them closer to God.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Exodus 32:1-14. When have you or your faith community gotten it wrong? When have you interceded with God on others’ behalf?
Read Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23. How has forgetting that you can be wrong hurt you or your faith community? How has admitting that you were wrong strengthened you or your faith community?
Read Philippians 4:1-9. What issue or conflict has divided your faith community? How might Paul’s urging to “be of the same mind in the Lord” help you work toward peace?
Read Matthew 22:1-14. What work might you need to do to open your heart so you can resolve a conflict?

Respond by posting a prayer.