Invitation — Psalm 146:7-8
"The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous."
Bible Song — Psalm 60:1-3, 10-12
You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us;
you have been angry — now restore us!
You have shaken the land and torn it open;
mend its fractures, for it is quaking.
You have shown your people desperate times;
you have given us wine that makes us stagger...
Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
Bible Reading — Matthew 15:10-20
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them."
Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"
He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Peter said, "Explain the parable to us."
"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts — murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them."
Leisurely read again ... is there a word or idea that stirred within you? Linger over it and give it your attention ... is there something about the reading you'd like to ask God about? Pray your life to God ... take a moment to rest in God's presence.
- for the eyes to see God's work in the world around us
- for natural disasters and a creation that groans
- for those at the forefront of caring for creation
Prayer — WC 20
Liberating God, I bless you for the spacious freedom I enjoy in Jesus — freedom from the guilt of sin, from your just wrath, from religious ritual and requirements, and still more, the freedom of a loved child to boldly come to you, the freedom to enjoy the fullness of your Spirit in me. Don't let me take this liberty as license, but let it release me to serve your will and my neighbors' good. Amen.
Blessing — Psalm 4:6
"Let the light of your face shine on us."