Monday, August 5, 2019

The Daily Lectionary for MONDAY, August 5, 2019

Rules for Christian Households
Colossians 3:18—4:1

The Daily Lectionary
MONDAY, August 5, 2019
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)
(Semi-continuous Reading Plan)

Psalm 60
Prayer for National Victory after Defeat
To the leader: according to the Lily of the Covenant. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he struggled with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
1  O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
     you have been angry; now restore us!
2  You have caused the land to quake; you have torn it open;
     repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
3  You have made your people suffer hard things;
     you have given us wine to drink that made us reel.

4  You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
     to rally to it out of bowshot.   Selah
5  Give victory with your right hand, and answer us,
     so that those whom you love may be rescued.

6  God has promised in his sanctuary:
     “With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
     and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
7  Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
     Ephraim is my helmet;
     Judah is my scepter.
8  Moab is my washbasin;
     on Edom I hurl my shoe;
     over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

9  Who will bring me to the fortified city?
     Who will lead me to Edom?
10 Have you not rejected us, O God?
     You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
11 O grant us help against the foe,
     for human help is worthless.
12 With God we shall do valiantly;
     it is he who will tread down our foes.

Hosea 11:12—12:14
11:12  Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
     and the house of Israel with deceit;
   but Judah still walks with God,
     and is faithful to the Holy One.
12:1 Ephraim herds the wind,
     and pursues the east wind all day long;
   they multiply falsehood and violence;
     they make a treaty with Assyria,
     and oil is carried to Egypt.

The Long History of Rebellion
2  The Lord has an indictment against Judah,
     and will punish Jacob according to his ways,
     and repay him according to his deeds.
3  In the womb he tried to supplant his brother,
     and in his manhood he strove with God.
4  He strove with the angel and prevailed,
     he wept and sought his favor;
   he met him at Bethel,
     and there he spoke with him.
5  The Lord the God of hosts,
     the Lord is his name!
6  But as for you, return to your God,
     hold fast to love and justice,
     and wait continually for your God.

7  A trader, in whose hands are false balances,
     he loves to oppress.
8  Ephraim has said, “Ah, I am rich,
     I have gained wealth for myself;
   in all of my gain
     no offense has been found in me
     that would be sin.”
9  I am the Lord your God
     from the land of Egypt;
   I will make you live in tents again,
     as in the days of the appointed festival.

10 I spoke to the prophets;
     it was I who multiplied visions,
     and through the prophets I will bring destruction.
11 In Gilead there is iniquity,
     they shall surely come to nothing.
   In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls,
     so their altars shall be like stone heaps
     on the furrows of the field.
12 Jacob fled to the land of Aram,
     there Israel served for a wife,
     and for a wife he guarded sheep.
13 By a prophet the Lord brought Israel up from Egypt,
     and by a prophet he was guarded.
14 Ephraim has given bitter offense,
     so his Lord will bring his crimes down on him
     and pay him back for his insults.

Colossians 3:18—4:1
Rules for Christian Households
3:18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart. 22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no partiality. 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.

The Daily Lectionary is a three year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2019, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2018 was Year B. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest on what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.
Christian’s are called to play by the rules. What are the rules?

The Morning Prayer for MONDAY, August 5, 2019

Monday Morning Prayer


Sometimes, Monday can be a hard day. Dreaded on Sunday and fled from on a Friday. Yet why Lord as Monday could be the beginning of a work adventure, the new challenge of a week filled with potential? So I pray you would help me to embrace this day.

Let it be a new day and a wonder day. Help me to see not the clouds but the sunrise, not the rain but the ripples of falling drops. Show me the joy of the embrace with loved ones, not the tensions and troubles. Monday need not be the grudge day to be endured but the fun day to be embraced.

This day, help me to turn my eyes towards your Kingdom, of love, hope and new beginnings. Amen.

Verse of the Day for MONDAY, August 5, 2019

Psalm 119:130 (NIV) The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

Read all of Psalm 119

Listen to Psalm 119

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Monday, August 5, 2019

Oración por cambios radicales

Crea en mí, oh Dios, un corazón limpio, y renueva un espíritu recto dentro de mí.

Señor, ¡cuántas veces te he prometido cambiar y cuántas veces te he fallado!

Dios mío, estoy arrepentido por no tomar decisiones radicales en mi vida. Sé que soy débil, y aunque hago el esfuerzo por cambiar, termino haciendo lo que no quiero.

Reconozco que tú estás interesado en transformar mi vida porque tienes grandes cosas para mí. Jesús, ayúdame a cambiar y a entender tus propósitos en mi vida. Quiero ser un ejemplo para mi familia y dar testimonio de que eres un Padre bueno.

Señor, entrego en este día todas las cosas de mi vida que te entristecen y dispongo mi alma y mi corazón para un cambio radical.

En el nombre de Jesús oramos, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Señor, ¡cuántas veces te he prometido cambiar y cuántas veces te he fallado!

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Monday, August 5, 2019

As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”
~ Acts 22:25 (NIV)

The scriptures illustrate responses to persecution in three primary ways. On the one hand is the command of Jesus to flee when it occurs and on the other, the stalwart example of those who stayed and endured, persevering through the challenges. In between is the example of the Apostle Paul (whose life responses exhibited both extremes also). When arrested in a mob violence scene in Acts 22, he appeals to his legal rights for protection from a needless beating. In Acts 25, he escapes almost certain death at the hands of the Jews by appealing to Caesar, again a right of his citizenship.

Pastor Abdias Tovilla studied law in order to help his indigenous people of Chiapas in southern Mexico who have been expelled from their homes simply because of their evangelical faith. He is following the model of the Apostle Paul who used whatever means possible to stand up to persecution.

You could say Abdias Tovilla practices two vocations—law and grace. Ordained as a pastor of the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico in 1981, Tovilla enrolled in the School of Law of the National Autonomous University of Chiapas the same year. He passed the bar exam in 1988 to become a licensed attorney and represent persecuted Christians. He resigned his pastorate in 1992 to be the Executive Secretary and Legal Advisor to the State Committee of Evangelical Defense for Chiapas (CEDECH), but is still a voting member of the Chiapas Presbyterian Synod and preaches on many Sundays at the invitation of local churches.

Abdias Tovilla has a concern for justice—especially for others. Dealing with injustice is also part of our Christian calling. Pastor Tovilla knows that those who speak out to denounce injustice are on the very front line of persecution themselves. He has gained some support from Mexico’s southernmost state Bishop who has appealed for an end to the violent and prolonged persecution of evangelical Christians by “traditionalist” Catholics. Bishop Felipe Arizmendi called for “no more expulsions nor divisions on the basis of religion” and asked that “there be no more destruction nor house-burnings, nor skirmishes, nor the shedding of blood due to religious, political, cultural or economic differences.”

Over the past 30 years, religious intolerance has triggered the forced expulsion of some 35,000 evangelicals from ancestral lands in Chamula and other districts. Despite the unrelenting pressure, evangelical Christianity has grown steadily throughout Chiapas. Today, thirty-five per cent of the state population adheres to evangelicalism, according to census figures. Since the early 1980s, Open Doors has been working in Bible distribution, training and community development with a vision to contribute to reconciliation in the area.

RESPONSE: Today I will speak out against injustice and discrimination of brothers wherever it occurs.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for brave brothers, like Abdias Tovilla, who stand for justice and truth.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

Women of the Bible - Monday, August 5, 2019


Her name means: "Ishtar," the Babylonian Goddess of Love, or from the Persian Word for "Star." Her Hebrew Name, "Hadassah," Means "Myrtle"

Her character: An orphan in a foreign land, she was willing to conceal her Jewish identity in a bid for a pagan king's affection. Esther seemed willing to made moral compromises by sleeping with the king and then taking part in a wedding that would necessarily have required her to pay homage to foreign gods. Even so, she displayed great courage in the midst of a crisis. Prior to risking her life for her people, she humbled herself by fasting and then put her considerable beauty, social grace, and wisdom in the service of God's plan.
Her sorrow: To learn that her husband, the king, had unwittingly placed her life and the life of her people in jeopardy.
Her joy: To watch mourning turn to celebration once the Jews enjoyed relief from their enemies.
Key Scriptures: Esther 1-10

Her Story

Vashti, queen of Persia, was the most powerful woman in the Middle East, yet her power was as fragile as a candle in a storm. Her husband, Xerxes, had just summoned her to appear before a festive gathering of his nobles. Vashti, however, having no intention of parading herself like a prized cow in front of a herd of drunken men, refused.

What should be done to punish her insolence? One of the king's counselors spoke for all: "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.' There will be no end of disrespect and discord."

So poor Vashti bore the brunt of every man's fears. She who had refused the royal summons was forever banished from the royal presence, and a great domestic uprising was squelched before it even began.

After a while, a search was conducted for a new queen to replace Vashti. It so happened that many Jews were living in Persia at the time. Exiled from Judah a hundred years earlier (after Jerusalem's fall in 587 bc), they had been deported to Babylon, which in turn was conquered by Persia. Mordecai and his orphaned cousin Esther were among those living in exile, 650 miles northeast of Jerusalem.

Like many other young virgins, the beautiful Esther was gathered into the king's harem. To refuse the privilege may well have meant her death. Counseled by Mordecai to keep her Jewish origins a secret, because being a Jew would probably have disqualified her from becoming queen, she spent the next twelve months awaiting her tryst with the king. When the moment came, Esther so pleased Xerxes that she became queen in Vashti's place.

Some time later, an Amalekite named Haman rose to power in Persia. Haman was so highly placed that other officials knelt before him as a sign of respect. One man, however, the Jew Mordecai, refused to kneel. Haman became so angry that he decided to eliminate every Jew in the kingdom.

To ascertain the most favorable moment for destroying them, Haman piously consulted his gods by casting lots (or pur). A date eleven months into the future was revealed—March 7 by our reckoning. Haman immediately persuaded Xerxes to issue a decree that all the Jews in his realm were to be slaughtered on that day. By way of incentive, the decree proclaimed that anyone who killed a Jew could plunder his possessions.

Mordecai reacted immediately by contacting his cousin Esther and asking her to beg Xerxes for mercy. But Esther was afraid and replied, "For any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spare their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king."

Mordecai replied, "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

So Esther instructed Mordecai, "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."

On the third day, Esther approached the king. As soon as Xerxes saw her, he held out the golden scepter. "What is it, Queen Esther?" he asked. "What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given to you."

But Esther merely invited the king and Haman to join her that evening for a banquet she had prepared especially for them. That evening the king again pressed her to ask for whatever she desired, but Esther simply invited the king and Haman to another banquet, to be held the following night.

That evening, on his way home, Haman caught sight of Mordecai, sitting smugly rather than kneeling as he passed by. Haman was outraged, but his wife consoled him by proposing an evil scheme—he need merely build a gallows and then ask the king to hang Mordecai on it the next morning.

While Haman was happily constructing a gallows for his enemy, the king was pacing the royal bedroom. Unable to sleep, he ordered one of his servants to read from the annals of the kingdom. That evening's reading just happened to be about how Mordecai had once saved the king's life by warning of a plot against him. It struck the king that Mordecai had never been properly rewarded for his loyalty.

So the next morning the king asked Haman: "What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?"

Assuming the king intended to reward him in some new and marvelous way, the foolish Haman replied with a grandiose suggestion: "For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden. Then let one of the king's most noble princes robe the man and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, 'This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!' "

"Go at once," the king commanded him. "Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew."

Haman was dumbstruck. The man who had planned to bury his enemy was suddenly forced to exalt him that very day!

That night, as the king and Haman were once again drinking wine at the queen's banquet, the king implored Esther to ask for whatever her heart desired. This time she spoke her mind: "If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation."

"Where is the man who has dared to do such a thing?" the king demanded.

"The adversary and enemy is this vile Haman."

And so Haman's star, which had risen to so great a height, fell suddenly, like a bolt of lightning crashing from the sky. He was hanged on the very same gallows he had built for the Jew Mordecai, and all his property was given to Esther. Furthermore, the king, because he could not revoke one of his own edicts, issued another to counteract the first one. It gave Jews throughout the empire the right to protect themselves, to destroy and plunder every enemy who might raise a hand against them on the seventh of March.

As news of the king's edict spread, many people from various nationalities became so terrified that they claimed to be Jews themselves. The very day Haman's gods had revealed as a day of reckoning for the Jews became a day of reckoning for their enemies. Ever after, the Jews commemorated these events with the Feast of Purim. As the book of Esther says, these days were celebrated "as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration."

Subject to foreign powers after the exile, God's people must have felt among the weakest elements of society. But weaker even than a Jewish man exiled to a foreign land was a Jewish woman. And weakest of all would have been a young orphan of Jewish descent. God had once again employed one of his favorite methods for accomplishing his purposes: He had raised an imperfect woman, the weakest of the weak, placing her in a position of immense strategic importance.

But it had been up to Esther to decide whether she would play the part God offered. Like Moses, she chose to identify with God's people even if it meant risking her life to do so. And even though exile was a punishment for Israel's long unfaithfulness, God showed that he was still with his people, delivering and protecting them in surprising ways, turning the table on their enemies through a series of stunning reversals. Earthly powers were at work to kill and destroy, but a heavenly power, far greater in scope, was at work to save and preserve.

Her Promise

God often uses the most unlikely characters to fulfill his purposes. He elevates a Jewish orphan to become queen of a great empire. Esther begins as a nobody and becomes a somebody, a woman who somewhat reluctantly risks her life to make a stand.

Again, God reveals his penchant for using the most unlikely, ordinary people to accomplish his divine purposes. But, you may wonder, could God ever use you to accomplish his purposes, with all your foibles and imperfections, your lack of talent or influence? Yes, he can! He isn't looking for people who are perfect or talented or influential. He is only looking for people who are willing.

This devotional is drawn from Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean Syswerda. Used with permission.
An orphan in a foreign land, she was willing to conceal her Jewish identity in a bid for a pagan king's affection.

LHM Daily Devotions - August 5, 2019 "No Secret"

"No Secret"

Aug. 5, 2019

The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love.

A nation at war likes to have a secret weapon, some powerful and destructive force against which the enemy has no defense. It might be a new missile or aircraft kept in reserve, but when finally deployed, may force the enemy to surrender. In ancient times, a well-trained warhorse was such a weapon. It was an overwhelming force when used against foot soldiers who had neither the speed nor the armor to defend themselves against mounted warriors. Still, the psalmist warns, "The warhorse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue."

In the face of Satan's accusations and the threat of death, we may attempt to employ our own armor, our own false hope. We may try to excuse ourselves from sin and shame, blame others, or try to work harder in some way to win God's favor. Whatever we try, our own efforts to earn salvation are hopelessly ineffective. The warhorse is a false hope for salvation, and so are our own good works. Our only hope in this life and death battle is our Lord, whose eye is on "those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love." He alone can save us.

Only God can deliver us from sin, death, and Satan because, at the right time, He employed a secret weapon of His own. It was the ultimate in power and overwhelming force, delivered in the most astonishing and unexpected way—as a tiny infant wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. To deliver us from our enemies, God sent us His own Son, Jesus our Savior. The Child of Bethlehem grew to adulthood, living among us as one of us. When His hour came, Jesus defeated our enemies, not with a show of military might, but as a weak and helpless victim nailed to a cross. As the writer to the Hebrews says, Jesus took on flesh and blood "that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery" (Hebrews 2:14b-15).

In Jesus, all the majesty of God was hidden in human flesh and, on the third day after His death, in conquering might, Jesus rose from the dead. Satan fell in defeat; sin and death were overcome. Jesus' victory is our victory. Jesus has delivered us from sin, death, and the devil. He is, as the psalmist writes, "our help and our shield" (Psalm 33:20b). And, what is more, it is no secret. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we rejoice in the victory You have won for us. In life and death be our help and our shield. In Your Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • Have you ever trusted in a "sure bet" only to see it fall through? Care to share?
  • Do you think it was a significant temptation for ancient Israel to want to trust in its own power like the many foreign nations around it?
  • What are the things in your life that get in the way of more fully trusting God?

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever trusted in a "sure bet" only to see it fall through?

Devocional de la CPTLN del 05 de Agosto de 2019 - Sin secretos


Sin secretos

05 de Agosto de 2019

El rey no se salva por tener un gran ejército, ni se escapa el valiente por tener mucha fuerza. Ningún caballo es garantía de salvación; y aunque tiene mucha fuerza, no salva a nadie. El Señor mira atentamente a quienes le temen, a quienes confían en su misericordia.

A toda nación en guerra le gusta tener un arma secreta, una fuerza poderosa y destructiva contra la cual el enemigo no tenga defensa. Puede ser un nuevo misil o un avión mantenido en reserva que, cuando finalmente se despliega, obligue al enemigo a rendirse. En la antigüedad, un caballo de guerra bien entrenado era una de esas armas. Su fuerza abrumadora se usaba contra los soldados de a pie que no tenían ni la velocidad ni la armadura necesaria para defenderse contra los guerreros montados. Aun así, el salmista advierte: "Ningún caballo es garantía de salvación; y aunque tiene mucha fuerza, no salva a nadie".

Ante las acusaciones de Satanás y la amenaza de muerte, a veces tratamos de emplear nuestra propia armadura y excusar el pecado y la vergüenza, o de culpar a los demás o trabajar más arduamente para ganar el favor de Dios. Pero todo esfuerzo que hagamos para ganar la salvación es irremediablemente ineficaz. El caballo de guerra es una esperanza falsa para la salvación, como también lo son nuestras buenas obras. Nuestra única esperanza en esta batalla de la vida y la muerte es nuestro Señor, cuyo ojo está puesto en "quienes le temen, a quienes confían en su misericordia". Solo él puede salvarnos.

Solo Dios puede librarnos del pecado, la muerte y Satanás porque, en el momento correcto, él empleó su arma secreta. El poder máximo de fuerza abrumadora fue entregado de la manera más sorprendente e inesperada: como un bebé envuelto en pañales acostado en un pesebre. Para librarnos de nuestros enemigos, Dios nos envió a su propio hijo Jesús, nuestro Salvador. Ese Niño de Belén llegó a la edad adulta, viviendo entre nosotros como uno de nosotros. Cuando llegó su hora, Jesús derrotó a nuestros enemigos no con una demostración de poder militar, sino como una víctima débil e indefensa clavada en una cruz. Dice el escritor a los hebreos que Jesús fue de carne y hueso "para que por medio de la muerte destruyera al que tenía el dominio sobre la muerte, es decir, al diablo, y de esa manera librara a todos los que, por temor a la muerte, toda su vida habían estado sometidos a esclavitud" (Hebreos 2:14b-15).

En Jesús, toda la majestad de Dios estaba oculta en la carne humana y, al tercer día después de su muerte, en poder conquistador, Jesús resucitó de entre los muertos. Satanás cayó en derrota; el pecado y la muerte fueron vencidos. La victoria de Jesús es nuestra victoria. Jesús nos ha liberado del pecado, de la muerte y del diablo. Él es, como el salmista escribe: "nuestra ayuda y nuestro escudo" (Salmo 33:20b). Y, más aún, no es ningún secreto: ¡Cristo ha resucitado! ¡Aleluya!

ORACIÓN: Señor Jesús, nos regocijamos por la victoria que has ganado para nosotros. En la vida y en la muerte sé nuestra ayuda y nuestro escudo. Amén.

Dra. Carol Geisler

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Crees que fue una tentación para el antiguo Israel el confiar en su poder como lo hacían los pueblos vecinos?
  • ¿Qué cosas en tu vida te impiden confiar más en Dios?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Crees que fue una tentación para el antiguo Israel el confiar en su poder como lo hacían los pueblos vecinos?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Des pains et des poissons

Des pains et des poissons

Jésus leur répondit : Ils n’ont pas besoin de s’en aller ; donnez-leur vous-mêmes à manger. V. 16

Un garçonnet est rentré de l’église en s’exclamant avec joie que la leçon avait porté sur un jeune qui avait « fait du pain et pêché toute la journée ». Il évoquait bien sûr le petit garçon qui avait offert ses pains et ses poissons à Jésus. Comme ce dernier avait enseigné jusqu’à la nuit tombée, ses disciples lui ont suggéré d’envoyer la foule au village pour s’y acheter du pain. À cela, Jésus a répondu : « [Donnez-leur] vous-mêmes à manger » (MT 14.16), ce qui les a laissés perplexes, car il y en avait plus de 5 000 à nourrir !

Il se peut que vous connaissiez le reste de l’histoire : un garçon a fait don de son repas – cinq pains et deux poissons – et Jésus en a nourri toute la foule (V. 13-21). Certains soutiennent que la générosité de ce garçon n’a fait que pousser les gens ayant de la nourriture à la partager avec les autres, mais Matthieu cherche manifestement à faire comprendre qu’il s’agissait d’un miracle, rapporté d’ailleurs dans les quatre Évangiles.

Quelle leçon pouvons-nous en tirer ? Nous avons autour de nous des proches, des voisins, des amis, des collègues et autres dont les besoins sont de divers degrés. Devrions-nous les envoyer auprès de ceux qui ont de plus grands moyens que nous ? Il ne fait aucun doute que les besoins de certains excèdent l’aide dont nous sommes capables, mais pas toujours. Quoi que vous ayez à offrir – une accolade, une parole gentille, une oreille attentive, une courte prière, une perle de sagesse –, confiez-le à Jésus et regardez ce qu’il en fera.

Demandons à Dieu de nous aider à discerner comment bien prendre soin des autres.

© 2019 Ministères NPQ
Un garçonnet est rentré de l’église en s’exclamant avec joie que la leçon avait porté sur un jeune qui avait « fait du pain et pêché toute la journée ».