Let us begin with prayer:
Source of life,
you feed us with the spiritual milk of your love
and deliver us from darkness to light.
Encompass us in the circle of your protection,
that, secure in your sustaining power,
we may find the wisdom and strength
to challenge the evils of our time. Amen.
I'm beginning the second of two weeks of vacation, and keenly aware with how fast this summer is passing. And in the U.S., this Sunday will be the last Sunday before Labor Day, the time when summer ends, the 'program year' kicks off, and fall schedules resume. As summer draws to a close, where will your sermon be heading?
If you've been following the story of David and Solomon in Kings, this week finds Solomon bringing the ark of the covenant into the house he has built for God where, after addressing the congregation, he offers up a powerful prayer to God. The alternative Old Testament reading features Joshua calling the people once again to return to the worship of Yahweh, declaring "as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Paul's letter to the Ephesians invites his audience to "put on the whole armor of God"so that they might resist the powers of evil and darkness in the world. Do any of you remember the "armor of God" pajamas that were all the rage when this reading came up a few years ago? Although the military imagery of this passage presents challenges for some of us, the message of God's protection is powerful.
This week's gospel from John FINALLY marks the last of five weeks dealing with the bread of life. As Jesus concludes his discourse on being the that bread, many struggle with his words and turn away, but Simon Peter, speaking for the twelve, affirms his identity, declaring, "We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
So what direction will you be taking this week, preachers? Join in the discussion and share your thoughts, your inspirations, and your questions.
Art, prayer, and readings found here.