Readings for the week of August 19, 2018

The First Reading is recorded in Joshua 24:1-2a,14-18. This passage is the renewal of the covenant the LORD made with the people of Israel as they were well on the way of conquering the Promised Land. Keep in mind the context: God has already rescued His people from slavery in Egypt, He kept them alive during 40 years of wilderness wandering, He drove out more powerful people so that His people could settle in the land. Joshua is confronting the people with a choice: continue to serve the LORD, or turn from Him to serve false gods. The people reaffirm the covenant the LORD has made with them. The Lord has made covenant with us in Baptism, He has claimed us and marked us with the cross of Christ. Let us continue in the covenant He made through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Holy Spirit, continue to work in our hearts and lives so that we continue to walk in the covenant You have made with us in Jesus. Amen.

The psalm for today is recorded in Psalm 34:12-22. This section of Psalm 34 gives us good insight as to how we are to live as the people of God. It is good guidance. However, as we read through the list we see we fall short of all that the Lord expects from us. Let us turn to Him in repentance, receiving forgiveness and new life through Christ.
Holy Spirit, lead us in the way You call us to live, and when we fail, lead us to repentance and new life in Jesus. Amen.

The Second Reading continues reading through significant parts of the book of Ephesians, this section is from Ephesians 5:6-21. In this passage the apostle Paul encourages the Ephesians, and us, to continue in the manner of new life that the Holy Spirit has put into us in Christ. Be the new people He has made us to be.
Holy Spirit, guide us and keep us in the truth of Jesus, and continue to conform us in every way into Christ, the Head of the Church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Gospel continues reading through the 6th chapter of John, John 6:51-69. Jesus gives us His body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine of Holy Communion. What a wondrous gift! As we receive Jesus in Word and Sacrament, let the Holy Spirit continue to increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and love.
Holy Spirit, we rejoice in the gifts You give us, especially the gifts of faith, hope, and love in Jesus. Increase in us Your wondrous gifts. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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