The following will be read during the July 17 service
Genesis 18:1-14. The First Reading is Genesis 18:1-14. This passage occurs later in Abraham and Sarah’s lives, Abraham is 99 and Sarah is 89 years old. Prior to this event, the LORD had promised that Abraham would have a child. Abraham and Sarah had no children, so Abraham had a child through a slave woman, Hagar. This child, Ishmael, was not to be the son who received the covenant promise, but a child of Abraham and Sarah was to be the son through whom the covenant was to go. But they had no child. Now, when it is biologically impossible, the LORD promised that they would have a son. Sarah’s response? Laughter. Probably cynical laughter. But a year later the son was born, and her cynical laughter turned to laughter of joy, and he was named Isaac, which means, “he laughs”. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? No, not even the resurrection from the dead. Let us trust in God’s faithfulness. Lord God, with Sarah we laugh with joy at the fulfillment of Your promises, especially Your promise to give us eternal life in Your Son. Keep us in faith, and keep our joy in You, giving You thanks and praise. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 27. The psalm for today, Psalm 27, is a psalm of David. As you read through it, remember all the hardship that David faced in his life: Saul wanted to kill him, the Philistines wanted to kill him, his own son wanted to kill him, among others who didn’t particularly care for him as king. David had enemies. But notice the trust David has in the Lord: the Lord has delivered David in the past, and David trusts in the Lord to delliver him again in his present danger. Let us also trust the Lord in the face of the difficulties of life. Faithful Lord, we praise You for faithfully caring for king David, even as he faced so many enemies. We see the example of David’s faith, and we seek to trust You more. Let Your Holy Spirit work in our hearts to increase our faith and praise of You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Colossians 1:21-29. The Second Reading is Colossians 1:21-29. Notice Paul’s emphasis on being brought to Christ and growing in Christ. By God’s grace, we have been made part of His kingdom, and now we seek to grow in Him. Be in those places where the Holy Spirit works to increase our faith, hope, and love; be in worship, Bible studies, devotions, and service, and let the Spirit draw you closer to Christ. Holy Spirit, continue to work in our hearts and lives to draw us closer to Jesus each day. Increase our faith, hope, and love. Enable us to glorify the the Lord, and to be of service to all in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Luke 10:38-42. The Gospel is recorded in Luke 10:38-42, and is the familiar story of Mary and Martha. Notice that Martha does all the right things expected of her in the culture of that day: offering Jesus and His followers hospitality in her home, preparing a meal, and all the other expectations of having a group of people in your home. Martha is doing all the work, while her sister sits at Jesus’ feet to hear His teaching. Martha is unhappy that she has to do all the work and Mary does nothing, and Martha lodges her complaint to Jesus, undoubtedly in front of everyone, including Mary. Jesus’ response? Martha, don’t worry about all that stuff, be welcomed, sit down and listen to God’s love for you. Welcoming Lord Jesus, we thank and praise You that no one is beyond Your love and care. We thank and praise You that You welcomed Mary to sit and listen, and that You invited Martha to sit and listen also. Open our hearts and minds to Your teaching, and move us to invite others to hear and listen to You. Amen.