Living the Lectionary – Connected to Love

Living the Lectionary is a weekly devotional tool intended to give you ideas for living out the Word of God that we encounter on Sundays in worship. 

ReGIFTED: Connected to Love

About this coming Sunday: 9th Sunday After Pentecost – Connected to Love – This week we consider the connection that we have with God which is found anew in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.  Law: We can be found neglecting our connection with God through rejecting time and energy spent with Him; because we do this with God, we also are found rejecting the  time and energy it takes to spend with others. Gospel: God never refuses a connection with His people, and even gives His own Body and Blood to solidify our relationship with Him.

About this Season and Series: 

Sundays After Pentecost/”ReGIFTED” – The long season of Pentecost affords us an opportunity to look into continuous readings from certain books – this year, we have a semi-continuous reading of Ephesians that serves as the basis of the ReGIFTED series.

Reflecting on the Readings (readings are linked to text on ESVbible.com)

Genesis 9:8-17 – A Covenant of Connection – The ultimate in disconnection is destruction of the other. God disconnected Himself from the evil majority of humanity in the flood, but promises to never disconnect Himself from us in this way again. Who are those whom you have promised, formally or informally, to never disconnect from?

Psalm 136– Endures Forever – The Psalmist reminds us to give thanks to God His “forever enduring love” which is shown to us in a variety of ways. The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” here is “chesed”, which has the sense of “covenant faithfulness”. How are you showing the heart of God in your “covenant faithfulness” to others?

Ephesians 3:14-21 – Rooted and Grounded – Paul reminds the Ephesians of their connection with God, something that is so wide, long, high, and deep that it takes the entire Church to begin to understand it. How are you rooted and grounded in the Church at large and in your local church which is how you grow in your understanding of God?

Mark 6:45-56 – The Effects of Being Rooted  – Jesus goes off by Himself to engage in prayer, His connection with His Father. As Jesus is connected with the Father, His miracles seem to come naturally.  What comes naturally out of your connection with God?

GIFTED Considerations

Gift of God: God provides opportunities to have connection with Him. What are the opportunities that you can give thanks to God for today?

Giving Ourselves As Gifts: Paul speaks to the Ephesians about a personal connection with God, but not a private connection – it is something that is shared with the Church. How are you sharing your personal connection with God and keeping it from being “private”?

Celebrating Gifts Given: Who has served to widen your horizons? deepen your faith? lengthen your faithfulness? raise your awareness? Take some time to thank these people as they help you to understand the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge.

Living the Lectionary Ideas

Learn: The interconnectivity of the Church should reflect the interconnectivity of the Trinity. That is, in a paraphrase, the focus of the work of the contemporary theologian Miroslav Volf, whom you can read more about here.

Do: Draw a web of relationships map by hand or with this neat service from Kumu (free trial available). What does your web of relationships tell you about your connectivity within Christ?

Live: This week pay special attention to the way that people are connected to one another. Raise your awareness of how people might be connected or disconnected from one another.

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