July 12- July 18, 2016

WORD

38Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.  39She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.  40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?  Tell her then to help me.”  41But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42there is need of only one thing.  Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

Listen: 

Reading Scripture to Know:

  • What is happening/being said? (Observation)
  • Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
  • What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
  • What does it mean? (Understanding)
  • What does it mean for us? (Application)

Reading Scripture to Grow:

  • What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
  • Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
  • How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
  • How does this Scripture reveal God?
  • How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
  • How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
  • How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
  • What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?

Reflection: Jesus honored Mary’s attention to communion with him because he first knew the intimate connection of human fellowship with another Mary.  Look at the image above.  It is a representation of the widely utilized artistic theme of the holy virgin mother with her child.  This theme appears in the past twenty centuries of art probably more often than any other artistic theme.  Jesus knew the innate goodness of communion and love in the human experience by resting in the embrace of his mother to whom he was umbilically connected for nine months.  He recognized that there is no more important human action than intimately communing with one another and sharing the experience of connecting love.  In such love is found unity, grace, and ultimate meaning.  And this is how it should be, for it is a reflection of the divine image in us.  God is in Godself the beauty of love between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Jesus and Mary reflected that love to Martha, who was then opened up to the opportunity to be transformed by that love.  Jesus and his mother Mary shared that love with a broken and sinful world, opening us all to the opportunity to be find healing and forgiveness in that love.  And Father, Son, and Holy Spirit invites us into the divine nature of their mutual love in order to make us whole.  Now God is calling us to open ourselves in love to others, to share with them what we have experienced in Christ Jesus.  With whom will you share that loving communion today?

Daily Readings: 

  • Tuesday, July 12 – Luke 19
  • Wednesday, July 13 – Luke 20
  • Thursday, July 14 – Luke 21
  • Friday, July 15 – Luke 22
  • Saturday, July 16 – Luke 23
  • Sunday, July 17 – Luke 24
  • Monday, July 18 – Acts 1

 

SPIRIT

Prayer Focus: Our society is hurting and we often make rash decisions and follow selfish agendas.  Our world needs time to sit with Jesus and find healing in holy rest.  Pray for our world: that God’s people would listen to him; that the busy masses would slow down; that those working out of anger and hate would be transformed by intimate, holy love; and that those who do not know the comfort of the presence of the Holy Spirit might feel surrounded by the peace that passes understanding.  Pray that the world would abandon its destructive ways and join in the quiet, strong, re-creative embrace of God.

Meditation Focus: Jesus is waiting for you to take time out of your agenda and spend time listening to him at his feet.  Imagine that Jesus is sitting in the room in which you find yourself.  He calls out your name and invites you to sit and talk awhile.  Picture his face as he issues the invitation.  Is it serious?  Light?  Smiling?  Searching?  Go close to him and begin to listen as he talks to you.  What does he say?  Does he talk about people or events in your life?  Do his words reach out to your mind or your heart, your feelings or hopes?  As you listen, do you feel the “stuff” of life calling back to you?  The busyness?  Work?  All the things you feel as if you ought to be doing to be more productive?  Does Jesus notice the distraction on your face?  Hear him speak these words: “I am the better part.  Choose me.  I will not be taken away from you.  I am here to stay.  I am what is real and important.”  He pauses.  Now speak to him.  Respond to his gentle and open love for you.  How can you hand over the distractions to him today?  Rest at the feet of Jesus.  Find sabbath.

Journaling Focus: Jesus knew the value of loving rest.  After being spoken by the Father for six days in the work of creation, the Word fell silent on day seven.  And yet, at the same time, the Word was being whispered on that sabbath day throughout all the goodness that had been brought to life.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit took a step back to stop and enjoy fellowship with all that had been created by the holy will.  Creation found itself in the presence of the God who not only makes, but who also delights.  In our passage this week, Jesus is delighting in Mary as much as Mary is delighting in Jesus.  Creator delights in creation, as creation delights in Creator.  How do you find rest and delight?  And how can such sabbath experiences connect you to the love of God?  Spend some time writing about a time in which you found rest that connected you with the love of God and allowed you to take delight in God.  Did you experience God delighting in your presence and fellowship too?  How so?  How might you create intentional time within your daily/weekly rhythms to rest in the holy love that brings true delight?

Breath Prayer: Father, keep us close to you.

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