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 26th: THE 6th Week after Pentecost
Overall Theme: Choices – When God gives us the Gospel, He also gives us the freedom to choose. Law: There are times that we choose poorly, but there is something even worse – to be ignorant of the right choice. This is what we are like without a knowledge of Jesus, an incapability of choosing the good because we don’t know it exists. Gospel: God’s choice is to give us the choice of Jesus. We would not have Jesus as a choice if it were not for God giving us His only Son, but now that we have it – we have the choice that makes all other choices look paltry and weak.
REFLECTING ON THE READINGS
1 Kings 19:9-21– The choice to follow – In the first part of this story, Elijah makes it clear that the people of Israel have been making poor choices. They have forsaken the covenant and have even attempted to kill Elijah, God’s prophet. Where do you see poor choices in the world around you? Do you see poor choices even in the Church? || In the second part of the reading, Elijah gives Elisha a choice that would not have been his otherwise. Elijah does what God commands and gives Elisha the opportunity to be the successor to Elijah’s prophetic career. What opportunities has God given you that you would not have had otherwise? How are you taking these opportunities and choosing to interact with them?
Psalm 16– The Right Path – In this Psalm, David makes it clear that he has chosen God, and because of that, he has been blessed. David’s choice of God differentiates him from others in the kingdom, people who “run after another god”. What other gods are out there that people are choosing to “run after”? || David finishes the Psalm saying that God makes known to him the path of life. What is the “path of life” that God has made known to you, and how is the course different than the paths that others are “running after” in following other gods?
Galatians 5:13-25 – The Choice of Freedom – Paul gives two lists towards the end of this reading. One is a list of things about which there are laws against, the other list is a list of things for which there is no prohibitive law. Nobody says “stop being so faithful” or “you have too much self control”. For these things, we can strive all we want, because they are never going to lead to something evil. In that sense, these things are truly *free*, and without governing. They are not things that we need to do only in moderation. However, oddly, these are things that we are often afraid of engaging with too much because we are afraid that too much will make our lives worse. We are afraid of being too patient with someone, or being too kind. Why are we afraid of these things? What causes our fear? || The fruits of the Spirit are made for eternity, and are thusly made without limits. What does a world look like where everyone is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
Luke 9:51-62– The Choice to Follow – Jesus makes it clear that to follow Him, we have to make some choices about the rest of our lives. Some of the characters in the text feel like they cannot make the choice to follow Jesus because He is ethnically different than them, or because he is demanding too much. What are the things that are hard choices for you that you encounter when you daily make choices to follow Jesus? || In the midst of all of this choosing on the part of disciples, it is important to remember that Jesus has made the choice to go to Jerusalem and set His face toward the Cross, choosing what we could not. How do your choices seem to change in the presence of Jesus’ choice to be crucified for your sins?