Invitation — Psalm 148:13
"Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."
Bible Song — Psalm 78:1-7
My people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old —
things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Bible Reading — Judges 6:11-16
The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."
"Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian."
The Lord turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
"Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
The Lord answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive."
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 deep gratitude for the cross of Jesus Christ
- for those living in poverty and suffering injustice
- for those who are victims of crime, and those who support them
Prayer — BC 21/HC 37
Great Savior, dare me to believe in weakness, to find comfort in Christ's wounds. Confirm to my heart that in the work of Jesus I am set free from the condemning cloud of putdowns, insults, criticism, and disapproval. Thank you for seeing more in me than I dare hope. Persuade me to believe your creating and saving love that conveys infinite worth and joy. Amen.
Blessing — Matthew 5:3
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."