“Stay woke” is a common phrase these days, a cultural call to arms designed to galvanize people’s attention to social and political issues. Wikipedia traces its etymology to African American vernacular English, but while that is true of its current popularization, followers of Christ recognize its scriptural heritage. “Stay awake,”...

God of grace, help us stay awake and alert in a world that tries to lull us to sleep with promises of privilege and prosperity. Help us see signs of your kin-dom. Amen.

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Lectionary Week
November 13–19, 2023
Scripture Overview

Like us, the Israelites struggle to be consistently faithful to God. God therefore allows a foreign king to rule them until the people come to their senses and cry out for help. The prophet Deborah gives instructions for the battle that will begin the deliverance of the people. The readings from Psalms and Zechariah demonstrate that this pattern of unfaithfulness and restoration has occurred frequently in the history of God’s people. In Thessalonians, Paul echoes what Jesus says in last week’s Gospel reading: We must always be prepared for the return of Christ because we do not know when it will occur. God gives us resources to use for the kingdom, and in Matthew Jesus indicates that God will ask for an account of how well we have used them.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Judges 4:1-7. Who has been a judge—someone who helps you discern—in your life? How can you help others discern the way?Read Psalm 123. How do you focus on God through conflict and struggle?Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. When have you encouraged someone in a time of darkness? When have you been the one in need of encouragement?Read Matthew 25:14-30. What would change if you considered your dreams and desires as from God? What first step can you take to enact your desires?

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