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 the week starting November 8th: The 24th Sunday After Pentecost – The Provision of the Lamb – A “covenant” is an agreement between two parties for the purpose of guarding a pre-defined relationship, such as marriage or a war treaty. God guards His pre-defined relationship with us through His Son’s death upon the Cross, which grants us and our loved ones entrance into His Kingdom. Law: We are in need. The Law forces us to recognize our essential neediness for things like righteousness and physical life. We need Jesus. Gospel: God provides for His people in a “once for all” way, making for fountains that continually pour forth His blessings – found ultimately in the fountain of Christ for us.
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)
I Kings 17:8-16– The Neverending Jars – Elijah prophesies to the widow that she will have an unending supply of flour and oil that will sustain her, her son, and Elijah until the rains come. What are the things that God has given to you that provide you with your physical needs? How, like the widow, are you sharing with others from this supply?
Psalm 146– Where Your Trust Is – The psalmist warns, “put not your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.” God’s provision often comes through people, but we are wise to always remember that it originates with God. God is the one who sets the prisoner free, the jailer only opens the door. God is the one who opens the eyes of the blind, the doctor only applies the medicine. Where can you see “through” the provision that comes through humans to see the God who originated the provision?
Hebrews 9:24-28 – Once, for All – The writer of Hebrews makes an important point here about Christ’s sacrifice for the provision of our salvation. The point is that the provision was made once, out of one truly great sacrifice of God’s own Son. Consider your own sins for a moment, and those sins that you may know of those who are close to you. How great a number of sins is even just that? Christ paid for all of them with one death upon the cross.
Mark 12:38-44– Over and Over vs. Once – The reading starts off with the repetitive actions of the scribes, who do things over and over to be seen. But the widow gives of her all, only once because that is all she can afford. She gives it all and has no more to give. When we think of giving with this kind of abandon, we notice how truly finite our earthly riches are. Jesus gives with exactly this kind of abandon. He gives all He has on the cross and holds back not even a breath. What does this text teach you of God’s character of giving?
Living the Lectionary Ideas
Learn: Listen to this short excerpt from Presbyterian pastor Tim Keller talking about prayer and God’s provision. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_rViLK1vG4
Do: All of the readings this way deal with how God provides for the needs of people. Make a special trip this week to purchase a canned food item or something similar that you can donate to a worthy cause. If you are in Tallahassee, you can donate food items to Second Harvest by placing them in the bin at University Lutheran’s sanctuary.
Live: It takes self-control and patience at times to wait on God’s provision. This was modeled by both of the widows in the I Kings and Mark readings. How might you model their character that came out of their faith in God’s provision for them?