Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, August 16, 2020 — 11th Sunday After Pentecost

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, August 16, 2020 — 11th Sunday After Pentecost
(Ordinary 20, Proper 15)
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32;
Matthew 15:[10-20] 21-28

Opening Sentences
This week’s topic is difficult. It is so difficult the worship team might be inclined to choose a different text. Both Paul’s letter to the Romans and Matthew’s Gospel present to us complicated texts that will be hard to wrestle into an easily digestible form for a comfortable Sunday morning. Yet, this is precisely why it is worth the struggle.

We struggle with this story, as we aren’t sure what it tells us about Jesus. But what if we focus instead on the Canaanite woman? What we discover is that the real struggle is what the story tells us about us. Are our prayers as heartfelt and persistent? Do we petition Jesus as though everything was at stake? Are we ready to put our faith on the line when we gather for worship?

Opening Prayer
Eternal God, you are present with us throughout our lives, even when others plot to do us harm. May we learn to live together in unity, that in all we do, we may sing your praises now and forever. Amen.

The Wound

Prayer for Unity

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! It is like a summer rain which restores the parched earth. It is like a cool breeze at the shore of a lake, at the top of a mountain or through a crowded city street. God meets us here.

God of all creation who called every being into life who is mindful of humankind in all its diversity who embodies us with dignity, granting different gifts and talents to shape life in this world we ask for your Spirit to unite us where we face lack of understanding and disunity in our churches, in our communities, in our countries. And in silence we lay before you the burdens of our hearts.

We ask for your Spirit to unite us in the face of the conflicts, hatred and violation of life experienced in so many regions of the earth and in silence we bring to you the pain of the victims.

We ask for your Spirit to unite us wherever fear prevents us from caring for our neighbor, from meeting people of different ethnicities, cultures and faith communities with respect and in silence we bring to you the brokenness of human relationships.

God of all creation, in Christ we are reconciled, and so we ask for your uniting Spirit to help us to overcome all our divisions that we may live in peace. Amen.

Congregational Prayer
Holy One of Israel, covenant-keeper, you restore what is lost, heal what is wounded, and gather in those who have been rejected. Give us the faith to speak as steadfastly as did the Canaanite woman, that the outcast may be welcomed and all people may be blessed. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
(Based on Matt. 15:21-28)
Merciful God, we confess that, just like Jesus’ disciples, we too sometimes lose patience with people who need our help and support. Like the disciples, we find ourselves wishing that they would just go away and leave us in peace.

In Your mercy, forgive us. Remind us again of the deep love You showed toward us when we were still in need—a love so deep that it sent You willingly to the cross on our behalf.

Show us how to love others as You have loved us. Teach us Your compassion, so that we may be Your hands and feet to those in need. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon
Friends in Christ, God invites us to hold the needs of our sisters and brothers as dear to us as our own needs. Loving our neighbors as ourselves, we offer our thanksgivings and our petitions on behalf of the church and the world.

First Reading
Joseph reconciles with his brothers
45:1 Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him; and he cried, “Cause every man to go out from me!” And there stood no man with him while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

2 And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, “I am Joseph. Doth my father yet live?” And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence.

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, “Come near to me, I pray you.” And they came near; and he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5 Now therefore be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for God sent me before you to preserve life.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land, and yet there are five years in which there shall neither be planting nor harvest.

7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9 Hasten ye, and go up to my father and say unto him, ‘Thus saith thy son Joseph: God hath made me lord of all Egypt. Come down unto me, tarry not;

10 and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me — thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks and thy herds and all that thou hast.

11 And there will I nourish thee (for yet there are five years of famine), lest thou and thy household and all that thou hast come to poverty.’

12 And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall make haste and bring down my father hither.”

14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.

How good it is to live in unity
1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard that went down to the skirts of his garments.

3 It is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Second Reading
God’s mercy to all Jew and Gentile
11:1 I ask then: Hath God cast away His people? God forbid! For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

2a God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as in times past ye have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief,

31 even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.

The Gospel
The Canaanite woman’s daughter is healed
[15:10 And He called the multitude and said unto them, “Hear and understand:

11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

12 Then came His disciples and said unto Him, “Knowest Thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?”

13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up.

14 Let them alone; they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

15 Then answered Peter and said unto Him, “Explain to us this parable.”

16 And Jesus said, “Are ye also yet without understanding?

17 Do ye not yet understand that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the drain?

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 these are the things which defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands defileth not a man.”]

15:21 Then Jesus went thence and departed into the region of Tyre and Sidon.

22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same region and cried unto Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David! My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”

23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, “Send her away, for she crieth after us.”

24 But He answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord help me.”

26 But He answered and said, “It is not meet to take children’s bread and cast it to dogs.”

27 And she said, “Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, “O woman, great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Here end the Readings

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us;. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Communion

A nondenominational serving of bread and wine
Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.

You have been embraced by the love of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and blessed by Jesus to go into this world to offer healing and hope. Go in peace. Amen.

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 Holy Bible, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21), Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, August 16, 2020 — 11th Sunday After Pentecost
Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15:[10-20] 21-28

“The Faith of a Desperate Mother” (Matthew 15:21-28)

Today, our gospel message comes to us from Matthew 15:21-28, “The Canaanite woman’s daughter is healed.”
21 Then Jesus went thence and departed into the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same region and cried unto Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David! My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”
23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, “Send her away, for she crieth after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord help me.”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not meet to take children’s bread and cast it to dogs.”
27 And she said, “Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, “O woman, great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to reveal your will for our lives and redeem us from sin and death. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, inspire us with confidence that you are with us in the midst of the storms of life, bring peace to our troubled souls, and lead your church throughout the ages. Enable us to live as your redeemed saints, that our lives may witness to our faith. This we ask in Christ’s holy name. Amen.

“The Faith of a Desperate Mother”

Most of the people who received healing from Jesus were Israelites, kinsmen of Christ according to the flesh. Jesus did indeed heal many people from many different diseases such as blindness, deafness, paralysis, muteness; He even cast out demons. The Gospels have numerous examples where Jesus performed these types of healing for fellow Israelites.

Several things had happened in a seemingly brief period of time, just before this event took place. Beginning in chapter 6, we can read that John the Baptist had been executed. Following this, the disciples and Jesus had fed the 5000 using only five small loaves and a pair of fish. Now they were going to row across the Sea of Galilee to Gennesaret but ran smack-dab into a contrary wind so that they were going nowhere fast. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water, He joined them in the boat, and they reached the other shore.

The last few verses of chapter 6 gives a summary of what Jesus did, mostly healing people. This is quite a contrast to another visit of Jesus and the disciples sometime earlier: Gadara was in the same vicinity, where Jesus had cast a “legion” of evil spirits out of a man. The reaction of the citizens? They begged Jesus to leave! But Jesus had at least one disciple, namely, the man whom Jesus had healed! Could the change in this visit be a result of one man’s testimony?

There was one serious problem, though, and that involved the “mission” of some Pharisees and scribes, who had come from Jerusalem to Gennesaret or Gadara (the east side of the Sea of Galilee)—to either spy or find fault with something, anything, that Jesus was doing. Sure enough, they pounced on the first problem they saw, namely, that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands. The first several verses of chapter 7 have the record of how Jesus answered these folks, plus how He explained some other things to the disciples.

It’s with all of this in mind that Jesus, being human, needed some time alone! Verse 24 states that Jesus didn’t want anyone to know where He was. We can compare this with another time. Jesus was in a house but did not make an effort to let people know where He was. Chapter 2 says that He was in a house, preaching the Word of God to the people, and the people were lined up near the door to the house, keeping the ones who needed healing away from Jesus (accidentally?) and His healing touch. Now He’s in a secluded spot, where He and the disciples could get a little rest and refreshment.

Or could they?

Verse 25 tells us that a woman made one of the most sincere requests for help that we’ll read in the Gospels. Mark also tells us that this woman’s daughter had an “unclean spirit.” Among other things, this tells us that the Devil, the enemy of our souls, was after the youth of that day as well. Think of it: not only was this young girl possessed by an evil spirit, but in Mark 1, there was a man in the synagogue with an unclean spirit, chapter 5 tells about the “maniac of Gadara,” and Luke 9 has the story of a young man who was severely afflicted. Surely this handful of youth were not the only ones who suffered from problems like this. Yet, there was one thing in common: according to the Gospels, when the parents discovered the demon possession and oppression, they did something about it. They got the children to Jesus and asked Him to heal their children!

Another touching thing is that this woman didn’t just ask once. Now, we’re not told how she found out where Jesus was staying, or how it could be possible for Him to heal her daughter, but we do have the record that she came and fell at His feet (verse 25).

Some remarkable things include the fact that the woman was not a Jewish person; instead, she was called “Greek” or a Gentile. She was also a Syro-Phoenician woman, meaning that she lived in the area of Syrian Phoenicia. Something I had forgotten until studying this passage is that there were two, at least, parts of the world named “Phoenicia.” One of these was the area north of Israel and west of Syria itself, or the land of Tyre and Sidon, where Jesus was staying at this time. The other Phoenicia was Carthage, or North Africa, or the land of Hannibal. This woman, then, was a Gentile, a native of Phoenicia, living in the Syria-Phoenicia area. She was about as far away from the blessings and hopes and promises for Israel as possible! But she knew one thing: she believed Jesus could heal her daughter, and she wanted to get that healing.

Reactions are all over the place when discussing the responses of Jesus to this foreign woman. Some might say Jesus was harsh towards the woman, and at first glance, that might be a good perspective. After all, Jesus was in a house, either near the border between Israel and the land of Tyre and Sidon, or on the other side of that border, and He didn’t go there to be recognized. When someone came in, unannounced, and uninvited, repeatedly asking for a miracle, the potential is there for a bit of severity.

Now let’s take a more in-depth look at what both Jesus and the woman both had to say.

First, even though we don’t have these words in this passage, the woman was calling Jesus “Son of David,” according to Matthew’s account (Mt 15:21-28). The problem is this: she was a Gentile and had no real authority to make such an appeal. Jesus Himself gives a bit of friendly reproof when He told her, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel (Mt 15:24)”. That didn’t stop her, as Matthew records that she said, “Lord, help me.”

Second, Jesus tests her faith again. I say that because the woman may have given up after Jesus didn’t answer her (erroneous?) request. She could have said something like, “Oh well, I tried, and He didn’t answer,” but she didn’t. We should remember she was a foreigner but exercised more faith than some Israelites, male or female! When Jesus said it wasn’t right to feed table food to the dogs, He meant (as many commentators observe) the little dogs, the pets, maybe puppies, who were part of the household. Some, incredibly, have tried to use this as an artificial contradiction between here (giving the crumbs to little dogs) and Mathew’s gospel where Jesus said to not give holy things to the (adult) dogs. Something to remember is that few animals were kept in the household and that adult dogs were usually scavengers—wild dogs.

And third, we see the woman’s persistent faith. Jesus did say that it wasn’t right to give table food to the dogs (but surely some children must have tried this!), but He never called her a dog. He was using a figure of speech, and His remarks were designed to test her faith. The woman could have stopped or quit at any time, but she didn’t do it. She replied, in the same spirit, with a bit of humor and good grace: “True, Lord, but even the puppies get the crumbs falling from the table!” People of those days didn’t sit at tables, they reclined on mats or couches to eat, and the “table” wasn’t too far off the ground, according to books on Bible customs and manners. I doubt if any house owner would allow a dog of any size near the evening meal!

So Jesus granted her request. Matthew adds that the woman’s daughter was made whole from that very hour (Mt 15:28). The lesson we can learn from this woman is that Jesus will listen to anyone who calls upon Him and that He will answer according to our faith. The answers may not be as miraculous as this case, but we can trust Him to provide answers He knows are best.

Prayer: Almighty and Ever-living God, keep us in your merciful and loving heart. Heal us in whatever infirmities and illnesses that we have. Like what you had done to the Canaanite woman, have mercy on us too. Strengthen our faith in You through the Holy Spirit that sanctifies and inspires us every moment of our lives. Have mercy on us and show us always the way towards you so we can know you more, follow you more closely, and love you more. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21), Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc.
Sermon contributed by Jonathan Spurlock.
A Gentile woman had a daughter who suffered from a serious problem. Desperate, she went to find Jesus. What did He do for this woman, and her daughter?

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, August 16, 2020
The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, August 16, 2020

In 1940, despite the spread of war in Europe, Roger Schütz crossed the border from Switzerland into France to pursue a community life characterized by simplicity and the fellowship described in the gospels. From early on in his life, Brother Roger knew that such a life together could be a sign of reconciliation for Christians from different denominations.

After settling in a French village called Taizé, Brother Roger was caught for hiding Jewish refugees and had to leave France after two years. When he returned after World War II had ended, he was accompanied by a few men who became the first brothers of the Taizé community, which grew into an ecumenical community with brothers on all continents, bearing witness to what brother Roger came to talk about as a “parable of community.”

On August 16 2005, during evening prayer in the Church of reconciliation at Taizé, Brother Roger was stabbed to death by a mentally ill woman.


In 1989, a Solidarity-led government was elected in Poland, marking the beginning of a nonviolent victory over communism in Eastern Europe.

A quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The church’s task is not simply to bind the wounds of the victim beneath the wheel, but also to put a spoke in the wheel itself.”

Lord, use us to heal the broken systems. Equip us with wisdom and foresight. May our lives interrupt injustice with your grace. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, August 16, 2020

2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Read all of 2 Corinthians 7

Listen to 2 Corinthians 7

Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV), Public Domain.

LHM Daily Devotions — Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

♫ "Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ, the true and only light, Sun of righteousness, arise, Triumph o'er the shades of night. Dayspring from on high, be near; Daystar, in my heart appear.

"Visit then this soul of mine, Pierce the gloom of sin and grief; Fill me, Radiancy divine, Scatter all my unbelief; More and more Thyself display, Shining to the perfect day." ♫

When you have waited and prayed through a long, dark night of fear, grief, or illness, even the first bit of daylight can be a very welcome sight. A new day may not bring relief, but the sunlight may, in a small way, lighten the burden. Daylight may bring a sense of hope. Our hymn expresses the welcome relief of the light shining out in the darkness. Glory and light, the daystar—the sun—and the dayspring—the dawn—are celebrated in contrast to "the shades of night" and "the gloom of sin and grief."

At creation God spoke light into existence, separating light from darkness and forming day and night. He created the sun, moon and stars to mark the passing seasons and rule the days and nights. God created Adam and Eve and gave them the cool, sunlit garden of Eden as a home. But our first parents rebelled against their Creator. They decided to listen to the serpent's tempting voice instead of trusting God's Word and care. They chose—as we so often choose—to surround themselves with the darkness of sin.

The people God created and loved were banished from the Garden of Eden, but God did not leave them without hope. He promised that the woman's offspring would come to crush the power of the tempting serpent. God the Son, "the true and only light," took on human flesh and was born into this sin-darkened world to be its Savior. "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). By His death in the darkness of Good Friday, by His glorious resurrection as the shades of night faded away at the first Easter dawn, Jesus set us free from sin and death. He rose as the Daystar, the Sun of Righteousness (see Malachi 4:2) and shines as the Dayspring, the bright dawn of God's love and light. Jesus presented Himself to His astonished disciples and scattered their unbelief. With His nail-pierced hands and feet, by His redeeming death, Jesus "pierced the gloom of sin and grief."

We pray in our hymn, "Fill me, Radiancy divine, scatter all my unbelief." We ask Jesus, the Light of the world, to fill us with confident faith and shine in and through our words of witness and acts of love and service, so that others will be drawn in the power of the Holy Spirit to the light of His love. We ask that Jesus' light would increase among us until the final day dawns, and we live forever in the light of His presence: "More and more Thyself display, shining to the perfect day."

Lord Jesus, Light of the world, shine through us so that others will see in our lives the light of Your love and life. Amen.

Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies."

Reflection Questions:
1. Have you found yourself in prayer more lately, or less? Why?

2. Can you recall a day when God "broke thru" into your life when you were particularly down?

3. How do you support others when they are anxious about life or in despair?
Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you found yourself in prayer more lately, or less? Why?


Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

The letter to the Hebrews was written to first-century Jewish believers in Jesus who were being persecuted. Some were so discouraged they were considering returning to Judaism. The writer encourages them to persevere because of the superiority of Jesus over everything and everyone else. And He will return to establish the ultimate kingdom.

Chapter 13 begins the author’s final instructions. First, we are to continue (repeated action) loving one another as brothers and sisters. This love is to be practical and reach out even to strangers who we are to entertain as we may not realize when one might be an angel. Then in our verse for today, our love is to extend to those who are in prison for their faith, even to the point of assuming we are in there with them. That makes a huge difference as to how we show practical love.

Russian Christian prisoner, Aleksandr Ogorodnikov, shares, “One night I was thrown into a cell with a broken window. The KGB was determined to do an experiment and freeze me. Later they would say, ‘He broke the window in his cell and died of cold.’ I felt despair. I thought to myself, ‘Has God really left me? Am I really forgotten and neglected? Have my years of suffering been in vain?’

“And in my despair, I began to pray. I usually pray silently, but this time I started to appeal to God out loud. ‘God, have You left me?’ My cries were bursting from a heart literally in utter despair.

“And right then, I suddenly felt palpable, physical warmth. Not the kind that comes from a heater, but like when a mother draws her freezing child to her breast and warms him with her tearful breath of compassion. It was a very living, human warmth. It penetrates you as if piercing you to the heart. And inside your heart, a spring opens up, out of which flows peace—a wonderful, magnificent, soothing peace.

“I felt a very loving, brotherly touch—someone’s caring hand touching my shoulder. I actually felt it. In the morning, it was a shock to my executioners. They couldn’t understand. I wasn’t simply alive, but my temperature was the same as that of a normal person. I heard a doctor explaining to my executioners in the corridor, ‘This is impossible! We can’t explain it.’

“It so happened that many people began praying for me. And that was exactly when they released me.”

RESPONSE: I will continue to remember my brothers and sisters around the world who are in prison for their faith.

PRAYER: Lord, give the sense and touch of Your presence to those suffering for You in prison today.

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

John Piper Devotional — Why You Give in to Sexual Sin
Why You Give in to Sexual Sin

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice…Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Why isn’t he crying out for sexual restraint? Why isn’t he praying for men to hold him accountable? Why isn’t he praying for protected eyes and sex-free thoughts? In this psalm of confession and repentance after essentially raping Bathsheba, you would expect David to ask for something like that.

The reason is that he knows that sexual sin is a symptom, not the disease.

People give way to sexual sin because they don’t have the fullness of joy and gladness in Christ. Their spirits are not steadfast and firm and established. They waver. They are enticed, and they give way because God does not have the place in our feelings and thoughts that he should.

David knew this about himself. It’s true about us too. David is showing us, by the way he prays, what the real need is for those who sin sexually—joy in God.

This is profound wisdom for us.
Sexual sin is a symptom, not the disease.

Un dia a la Vez — Oración de gratitud
Oración de gratitud

Entren por sus puertas con acción de gracias [...] denle gracias, alaben su nombre. Porque el Señor es bueno y su gran amor es eterno.

Dios mío, aquí estoy delante de ti con un corazón agradecido por todo lo que has hecho por mí.

Sé que he cometido gravísimos errores y mi vida está destruida y desbastada, pero gracias a tu gran amor y bondad me recibes una vez más con los brazos abiertos dispuesto a perdonarme y darme una nueva oportunidad.

¡Gracias, Señor! Mi anhelo es permanecer viviendo una vida recta y agradable a tus ojos. Dame la fuerza para no volver atrás y la sabiduría para buscarte de noche y de día.

Me comprometo a ser cada vez mejor hijo tuyo, siendo más sensible a tu Palabra. Y a huir ante las tentaciones que no van a faltar.

Dios mío, ¡qué lindo eres tú! Te amo con todo el corazón y oramos en el nombre de Jesús, amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Oración de gratitud
Dios mío, aquí estoy delante de ti con un corazón agradecido por todo lo que has hecho por mí…

Unser Täglich Brot - Groß genug

Groß genug

Lesung: Lukas 18,15-17 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Psalm 94-96; Römer 15,14-33

Lasst die Kinder zu mir kommen. Hindert sie nicht daran! Denn solchen gehört das Reich Gottes.

Mein Enkel rannte zu der Schlange bei der Achterbahn und stellte sich an die Messlatte, um zu sehen, ob er schon groß genug war, um mitfahren zu dürfen. Er jauchzte vor Freude, als sein Kopf über die Marke hinausragte.

Wie oft geht es im Leben darum, ob wir „groß genug“ sind. Vom Kindersitz zum Sitzgurt. Von der Rückbank auf den Vordersitz. Den Führerschein machen. Wählen dürfen, Heiraten. Wie mein Enkel können wir unser Leben damit zubringen, größer werden zu wollen.

Zur Zeit des Neuen Testaments wurden Kinder zwar geliebt, aber von der Gesellschaft nicht besonders geachtet, bis sie „das Alter erreicht“ hatten, zum Lebensunterhalt beitragen und die Synagoge besuchen konnten. Jesus stellte die Maßstäbe seiner Zeit infrage. Zu ihm durften auch Arme, Kranke und sogar Kinder kommen. Drei Evangelien (Matthäus, Markus und Lukas) berichten von Eltern, die ihre Kinder zu Jesus brachten, damit er ihnen die Hände auflegen und für sie beten konnte (Matthäus 19,13; Markus 10,16).

Die Jünger tadelten die Eltern, weil sie Jesus belästigten. Darauf reagierte Jesus „verärgert“ (Markus 10,14) und öffnete den Kleinen die Arme. In seinem Reich hatten sie einen Wert. Gleichzeitig rief er alle auf, selbst wie die Kinder zu werden—verletzlich, Menschen, die ihn brauchten (Lukas 18,17). Wenn wir wie ein bedürftiges Kind kommen, sind wir „groß“ genug, um seine Liebe zu empfangen.
Wie kannst du klein genug bleiben, um Gott kennenzulernen? Was bedeutet seine Liebe, die Liebe eines himmlischen Vaters, für dich?
Lieber Gott, hilf mir heute zu erkennen, wie sehr ich dich brauche, damit ich wie ein Kind deine Nähe suche.

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Wie oft geht es im Leben darum, ob wir „groß genug“ sind.