God makes us right, gives us peace, brings us into grace, and offers us hope for the future. Despite our own best efforts and mighty struggles, God is always before us offering us a hand and inviting us to take the first step toward “the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory” (The Message).

A retreat I attended in college used an article from theologian Paul Tillich entitled, “Accept That You Are Accepted.” It was a dense paper, but I still remember the title and the relief I felt that I did not have to earn, win, or beg for God’s love.

After his theological welcoming statement to begin Chapter 5, Paul addresses the challenges that new Christians are facing. Paul names the suffering, our feeling “hemmed in with troubles” (the message). He does not deny present suffering but looks deeper and longer to see what may emerge as we face the challenges.

Can we get a new perspective on our challenges? Can we see God at work amid difficulties? Can we cultivate patience and deepen trust? Once when I was looking for new ministry, I felt God was opening doors as I had three wonderful possibilities to pursue with new applications. After all three doors closed, I began to question the confidence I had in God when the three had seemed so right and good. My spiritual director reminded me to have hope and take the long view. Sometime later, a new door opened that was an even better fit than the previous opportunities.

Behold, God is able to do a new thing, working through difficulties and troubles and strengthening our character and our hope so we are not disappointed and often are surprised.

Hold me, loving God, and steady me to keep walking with you on the paths you open. Give me patience and persistence in following your call. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 9:35-38 , Leer Matthew 10:1-23

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Leccionario Semanal
June 8–14, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The readings this week lack a common theme. Genesis recounts the promise of Isaac’s miraculous birth and the fulfillment of that promise—a key story in the history of God’s people. The psalmist cries out with gladness to the Lord, for we are God’s people and the grateful recipients of unending faithfulness. Paul rejoices because we have peace with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. This is not because of anything we have done or could do; rather, God’s love sent Christ to die for us when we were distant from God. In Matthew, Jesus calls his disciples and declares that God’s harvest is vast, but there are not enough workers willing to go into the fields. It is a call for us to go as the disciples did.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7. How does your faith invite you to laughter?
Read Psalm 100. How do you make a joyful noise to God? Consider trying a new practice of joyful praise.
Read Romans 5:1-8. How has God’s love for you prompted you to “the second movement of the symphony,” to share God’s love with others and all creation?
Read Matthew 9:35–10:23. How are you called to participate in Christ’s ministry of healing?

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