Living the Lectionary – 3rd Week after Pentecost

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 THE WEEK STARTING June 5th: THE 3rd Week after Pentecost

Overall Theme: Throughout the readings this week, we see a contrast of life and death, which brings us to think of the contrast of life and death in our spiritual lives. Law: We are supposed to die because of sin. This is the ultimate final consequence of our sin in this life.  Gospel: God promises us that we can have new life and that we can be raised from the dead.Third Week of Pentecost

REFLECTING ON THE READINGS

(readings are linked to text on ESVbible.com – you can read all the readings together here.)

1 Kings 17:17-24– A Hurting Neighbor – Elijah and the widow of Zerapheth have been on quite the roller coaster. First she thought she was going to die from hunger, then God provided a self refilling jar of flour and oil. Now her son is struck ill, and she’s looking to Elijah for an explanation. Who are those people who are looking for explanations for the things in their lives around you? Are they asking you for help to understand? || Elijah himself is struck with not knowing what the reason for this illness is – but he prays to God for the healing of the boy even though He doesn’t know what has caused the illness. Who are you praying for and praying with? How might God use your prayers, as He did Eljiah’s, to grant you access into the deeper parts of people’s lives around you?

Psalm 30– Dancing in Your Grave – The title of this Psalm is odd, since it seems to imply that David wrote this Psalm for the dedication of the temple that his son, Solomon was going to build. But David died before the temple was built. Perhaps we can imagine what it was like to hear this Psalm, the words of the now deceased Hebrew warrior poet king, along with those who would have remembered his reign now gathered at the temple courts. David has faith that the temple will be built and that good things will happen. He looks forward to what seems to be “dancing in his grave”, having joy even beyond his normal physical life. What do you have faith will happen in your lifetime? Beyond your lifetime?

Galatians 1:11-24 – Back Story – Paul explains his story as a defense of his authority to preach the Gospel. He explains what God has done in making him an apostle. Unfortunately, we live in a world where we cannot always trust everyone who tells us something, we need to vet their authority and trustworthiness. What do you do to establish the  trustworthiness of a teacher or someone who is explaining something to you? How do you establish this trustworthiness yourself so that you might  be believed and trusted?  || Paul explains that Jesus taught him directly. We are not sure how this happened, but  we trust it because  it is in Scripture. What has Jesus taught you through the direct words of Scripture?

Luke 7:11-17– Deja vu all over again – Jesus raises the son of a widow, just like Elijah did. The widow was apparently well liked and cared for, as the Scriptures note that a *considerable* crowd is following in the funeral procession. Jesus raises the son and the people are reminded of the story of Elijah, amazed that God has visited them with a miracle that has not been seen in Israel in many many years. What kinds of miracles are people looking for today that haven’t happened for a long time? Who are the people in your community who are well liked, like the widow, and how can you pray that God will do something great in their lives that will cause others to marvel and wonder about God’s care for them?

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