Week of Aug 12, 2018
Connecting Sunday to Monday
(For the week of Pentecost 12 – Starting Sunday August 12th)
First Reading (1 Kings 19:1-8)
- Elijah was brokenhearted, upset, and worried about the future of Israel. He believed he was the only one left who worshipped God and the queen was out to kill him. God reassures Elijah that Elijah isn’t the only God fearing person in Israel. God reveals the number who did not bow to idols. We can feel like we’re the only Christians or that people no longer fear (respect) God. It’s important to be part of a loving, Christian community to receive support and realize we aren’t the only ones left. God gives us the blessing of His Church for mutual Christian love and support.
- After the lament, Elijah is told of Elisha who would take up the mantel of the prophet. Elisha would be the next to preach. This is hope God has given Elijah. God’s Word would not end with Elijah. Not only are there others in Israel who believe in God, but God reveals who would take over Elijah’s legacy. Elisha faithfully served God and learned from Elijah. Who is your legacy? It can be your children, nieces, nephews, friends, or others. With whom will you share the love of Christ?
Second Reading (Ephesians 4:17-5:2)
- When we don’t settle our differences with others, it can give an opening for the devil in our lives. When we are angry at another, we can let that anger fester. It can affect our lives and worship as we secretly demand repentance or focus on the grievance done against us. Imagine how terrible it is when we hear grace and forgiveness, but can’t even focus on it because we’re so focused on another! Jesus warns that before we remove the dust from our neighbor’s eye, we must remove the log from our own. Who do you need to forgive today? Pray God would help you talk to and forgive the individual in a kind, caring, and Christian way. If you have troubles continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
- “Paul describes the new life that results from the Gospel. Yet, the Law also continues to apply because of our sinful nature. As Luther explains the Ten Commandments in the Catechism, the Law both forbids sinful behavior (‘shall not’) and urges good works (‘shall’). As we inevitably fail to live up to such demands, forgiveness preserves and restores the harmony of the Church.” (ESV 2023)
The Holy Gospel (John 6:35-51)
- Notice those who grumbled. Were they among those Jesus fed or only hear the miracle? It isn’t until Jesus preaches hard teachings that the people begin to grumble against Jesus and His authority. Do we know others who do that? They believe the very basics about Christianity, but if someone takes a Biblical stance on something (Communion, Baptism, marriage, evolution, abortion, etc.) they seem to get upset. We must continue to love our fellow Christians, seek the Biblical truth, and share what is in the Bible. We must not base truth on feelings, but rather what is found in God’s true and holy Word.
- Jesus gives all believers a safe place. The world may “hate” Christians which Jesus said we should expect because the world hated Him. If the world hated Him, it would hate those who follow Him. However, this does not mean we should assume all people hate Christians. If we would like people to listen to our message and questions, we must be courteous and seek to listen and understand others. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t automatically mean they hate you. For those who truly seek ill will on Christians, pray for those (and all) people. Remember, God has prepared a place for you in heaven, one that can never be taken away.