Our mission is to explore and celebrate God’s infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

We aspire to worship weekly, pray daily, learn constantly, serve joyfully, and live generously.

  Scriptures & Reflection

 

 The Third Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 7, Track 1, June 25, 2017 – Year A

How to use this page:

Read a different passage each day and think about it.  Some questions are offered to help stimulate your reflection.  You’ll find your experience of worship on Sunday will be intensified.

For a method to read and pray with the scriptures you might try to use the ancient practice of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).  We’ve written some instructions on how to useLectio with the Sunday Scriptures at the following link:Using Lectio Divina to pray the lections

We use the Episcopal Revised Common Lectionary.
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Genesis 21:8-21
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39
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Collect

O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Reading from Genesis (21:8-21)
he child grew, and was weaned; and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac.” The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for it is through Isaac that offspring shall be named for you. As for the son of the slave woman, I will make a nation of him also, because he is your offspring.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, “Do not let me look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. She went, and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
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What does it mean to you that the ancestor of the Jewish and the Arab peoples is the same father Abraham? 
 
How does this story trouble you? How does this story encourage you? 
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Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17                                    St. Helena Psalter    
Bow down your ear, O God, and answer me, *
     for I am poor and in misery.
Keep watch over my life, for I am faithful; *
     save your servant, for I put my trust in you.
Be merciful to me, O God, for you are my God; *
     I call upon you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant, *
     for to you, O God, I lift up my soul.
For you, O God, are good and forgiving, *
     and great is your love toward all who call upon you.
Give ear, O God, to my prayer, *
     and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the time of my trouble I will call upon you, *
     for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O God, *
     nor anything like your works.
All nations you have made will come and worship you, O God, *
     and glorify your Name.
For you are great; you do wondrous things; *
     and you alone are God.
Turn to me and have mercy upon me; *
     give your strength to your servant
     and save the child of your handmaid.
Show me a sign of your favor,
     so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, *
     because you, O God, have helped me and comforted me.
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What is your greatest anxiety, conflict, or fear? 
 
Use this psalm as your prayer to God about that issue. 
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A Reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans (6:1b-11)
Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
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What in you needs to die in order for you to be fully alive? 

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The Gospel according to Matthew (10:24-39)
Jesus said to the twelve disciples, “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
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 What most troubles you about this challenging passage? 

 
If Jesus is God’s eternal love in human life, how can love be expressed through these challenging words?