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.
About this Season and Series: About this coming Sunday: 21st Sunday After Pentecost – The Rest of the Lamb – God gives His people rest, it is one of the greatest gifts that God wants to give humanity – the ability to rest. Law: It is hard to rest in the presence of a holy God. We tend to get jumpy around Him because we know we are unworthy of His favor. Gospel: Jesus gives us rest from our work, assuring us that our status with God is taken care of.
Sundays After Pentecost/”The Gift of the Lamb” – The long season of the Sundays after Pentecost are split up into series here at University Lutheran, in the last weeks of this long season, we turn to a sermon series based on the Book of Hebrews called “The Gift of the Lamb”.
Reflecting on the Readings (readings are linked to text onESVbible.com)
Ecclesiastes 5:10-20– Enjoyment in all the toil – The preacher of Ecclesiastes shares about the vanity or meaninglessness of work for its own sake, and directs us to the enjoyment of our work. It may be shocking for us to consider that our life’s work could be meaningless, but it may also be just the thing that we need in order to take a rest. What are you worrying about this week? How might seeing the “meaninglessness” or “vanity” of that work free you up to rest in God?
Psalm 119:9-16– Pure Rest – “How can a young man keep his way pure?” might sound like a question rarely asked by young men today, but there is a wisdom to purity that allows us to rest. Search your heart and your history, where are there impurities that have caused you worry and have kept you unable to rest?
Hebrews 4:1-16 – Sabbathing Today – The writer of Hebrews encourages us to find our rest in Jesus, in the new covenant ushered in by His sacrifice on the cross. The Sabbath mentioned here is not a specific day of the week, but a “today” rest for us that comes in every “today”. What are the “smaller Sabbaths” that you schedule into your day, and are you seeing them as rest, or as work?
Mark 10:23-31– It’s Not About You – Peter wants to make entering the kingdom of God all about his sacrifice of leaving everything and following Jesus, but Jesus invalidates Peter’s argument and says that it is all about God’s work, not the work of humans. What work or sacrifice are you foolishly offering to God as reason for your entrance into His Kingdom? Why is He so intent on invalidating your own claim to His Kingdom?
Living the Lectionary Ideas
Learn: “The Rest of God” by Mark Buchanan is an excellent book on the subject of Christian “Sabbathing”. Consider reading an excerpt from Amazon, or buying the whole book.
Do: Rest! One of John Ortberg’s most memorable quotes is “sometimes taking a nap is the most spiritual thing that you can do.”
Live: Christian discipleship guru Mike Breen says, “God intended for us to work from a place of rest, not rest from our place of work.” How might you adopt this idea into your life this week?