Bible readings for Sunday, August 2, 2020

The First Reading, from Isaiah 55:1-5, gives words of great hope to a people who are facing exile and hardship.  Notice how God will act on behalf of His people.  Notice also the call of His people to follow His ways, which are best.  Through Christ, God has made great promises and gives us a great hope.  Will we walk in His ways?  Let us follow Christ every day.

Faithful Lord, when we are in desperate need, keep us from despair.  Reveal Yourself to us, and increase our hope in You.  In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

The Psalm for this Sunday, 136:1-9, 23-26, is clearly a liturgical psalm used in worship.  Just think, we are joining in a psalm that was used in worship by our ancestors in the faith thousands of years ago!  Notice how each verse is a verse of praise for what God has done; notice also that all of God’s activities are based on His steadfast love, which endures forever.  Let us join in this wonderful psalm of praise!

Lord, we give thanks to You, for You are good, and Your steadfast love endures forever!  Amen.

The Second Reading, Romans 9:1-13, marks a shift in the book of Romans.  In this passage the apostle Paul is in great anguish over the fact that so many of his fellow Israelites do not believe in Jesus.  He wishes that all would believe.  What is our attitude toward those who do not believe, do we want them to come to faith in Jesus, as Paul wished for his fellow Israelites?  Do we share the faith in us so that others will hear about Jesus?  Let us be faithful in telling others about Jesus.

Holy Spirit, move us to pray for and to share the Gospel of Jesus with those who do not believe.  Bless our witness and bring more and more to faith in Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  For His sake, Amen.

Today’ Gospel, recorded in Matthew 14:13-21, continues the theme of the First Reading of God providing for those in need.  The crowd who was with Jesus did not have food; instead of chasing them away, Jesus took five loaves and two fish, gave thanks, and distributed the food to all there: 5,000 men, plus women and children.  We see the benevolence of God: He provides what all need.  God has blessed us in so many ways.  Will we share His blessings with others?

Lord Jesus, we give You thanks and praise for providing what we need, especially our need of reconciliation with the heavenly Father.  Open the eyes of faith to see all Your blessings in our lives, and enable us to share with others as You have first given to us; especially to share You with others.  In Your Name we pray.  Amen.

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