GodSpeak for the Week of July 22
This week, we go back to the Lectionary (i.e., assigned reading schedule) for our Scripture lessons, focusing on the positive versus the negative in our lives and faith.
Day 1…Read Jeremiah 23:1-6
- Note this – how the Lord’s tone (through Jeremiah) begins the passage (i.e., vv. 1-2) versus the tone He takes, beginning in v. 3 ff.
- Consider this – as Lutheran-Christians we cling to a balanced approach to God’s Word of “Law” and “Gospel”;
- “Law” – i.e., God’s commands – remind us of our brokenness and sin and drive us to our knees in recognition that by our own power and will we cannot perfectly fulfil those commands.
- “Gospel” – i.e., God’s grace and mercy offered through Christ alone – reminds us that even in our state of sin, God picks us up from our knees to live for Him again. This happens daily (literally, multiple times each day).
- Answer this – by keeping a proper balance between Law and Gospel, how does this passage strike you?
- Again, why is God exercising this kind of patience? What does He hope to accomplish?
Day 2…Read Jeremiah 23:1-2
- Consider this – God offers a Word of woe to the “shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” (v. 1)
- Answer this – who were the “shepherds” to whom God was referring? Who are the “shepherds” these days to whom God is referring?
- Why does God react so strongly and so gravely towards these kinds of people?
- What’s at stake if one of these shepherds “scatters” and/or “destroys” God’s sheep?
Day 3…Read Ephesians 2:11-12
- Consider this – in this passage, Paul is referencing two groups of people: a) “Gentiles” [i.e., those who are not Jewish]; and, b) “the circumcision” [i.e., Jewish people/God’s chosen and promised people].
- Answer this – according to Paul, because of Christ these Gentiles have received a DOUBLE promise…what are those promises?
Day 4…Read Ephesians 2:19-22
- Consider – everything Paul says we have become because of Christ: a) fellow citizens with God’s people; b) members of His household; c) built on a foundation of apostles and prophets – with Christ as the cornerstone; d) built into a dwelling in which God gives His Spirit.
- Answer this – of those promised realities, which is most important and life-giving to you? Why?
Day 5…Read Mark 6:30-34
- Consider this – in v. 32, Mark tells us that Jesus and the disciples got into a boat to go to a “solitary” place (i.e., an uninhabited place) in order to get some rest.
- Answer this – but, what do the people do? How do they respond to this escape?
- Answer this – how does Jesus respond to this? Who does the teaching of this pop-up crowd?
- What does this say about our own ministries? What do our God and Lord ask of us? What do they provide for us in the midst of busy lives lived for them?
Day 6…Read Mark 6:35-44
- Answer this – even though Jesus had done the teaching, who did He tell to provide the food? Why did He do this?
- Answer this – why does Jesus instruct and why do the disciples divide the people into groups of hundreds and fifties? What’s the point of this?
- Note this – the Greek word translated “satisfied” in v. 42 suggests all of the people were filled up, wanting nothing more as far as food went.
- Answer this – what is the significance of the disciples picking up of 12 baskets full of leftover bread and fish?