Good Morning Friends ,
I pray this day finds you well this morning,
staying warm and finding joy in the day ahead.
As we look towards Sunday (18th July 2021) I thought I would offer a guided reflection for you from this week’s lectionary Gospel as we prepare our hearts and minds for our gathered encounters with God and community, regardless of the mode that may happen in.
We turn our attention to Dwelling in God
We do “Bible Study” for the purpose of increasing knowledge about God. Our purpose for reading and reflecting on scripture is about dwelling in God through hearing more of God’s stories. Leaving room for God to speak to us in our reflections, and preparing to meet God as we meet with one another in our gathered community. This becomes for us an act of private worship or devotion.
I believe that sometimes we mix up devotion and Bible Study. We forget our acts of devotion because we don’t feel like we are ready to engage our head in the study aspect. The act of devotion, of personal worship is about engaging the heart. It is about drawing nearer to God and expanding love for God and recognising the saving act of grace and redemption through Jesus Christ as he died and rose. Devotional acts don’t have to be long or structured or full of books. It can be just you, your bible and Jesus together, for 5 minutes or five hours, how ever long you need in that moment to connect with God on a heart level. So find the small moments in your day and week to devote to your relationship with God. You will be blessed, I can assure you of that.
A song to begin our time of reflection, Written by David MacGregor.
A Prayer to begin…
Holy Trinity of God,
I come before you in this moment
seeking you in the word.
Open before me this passage
so that I may see more of you revealed within the words.
I pray through your almighty love and the redeeming work of the cross. Amen.
The Scripture for the day will be Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56. Additional scripture to use for your reflection this week is below the Gospel.
As you read, either on a piece of paper or in your Bible (you may like to use different coloured pens or pencils) – it is okay to mark your bibles as it helps you to retain your lifelong journey of understanding and drawing nearer to God…
- note the words or phrases that stand out to you with a !
- Note the questions or confusion you have with ?
- Note the important things like names of people and places with *
- Write a sentence for yourself summing up what you hear God saying to you through this reading.
Questions to consider in reflection
How easily do I find dwelling in God?
What might be things that stop me from dwelling in God?
Am I able to recognise when I need to dwell in God?
How do I feel after I have spent time dwelling in God?
Mark 6: 30-34, 53-56
30 Then[a] the apostles gathered around Jesus and told him everything they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come with me privately to an isolated place and rest a while” (for many were coming and going, and there was no time to eat). 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat[b] to some remote place. 33 But many saw them leaving and recognized them, and they hurried on foot[c] from all the towns[d] and arrived there ahead of them.[e] 34 As Jesus[f] came ashore[g] he saw the large crowd and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So[h] he taught them many things.
53 After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret[a] and anchored there. 54 As they got out of the boat, people immediately recognized Jesus.[b] 55 They ran through that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever he was rumored to be.[c] 56 And wherever he would go—into villages, towns, or countryside—they would place the sick in the marketplaces,[d] and would ask him if[e] they could just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
Ephesians 2: 11-22
New Life Corporately
11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh—who are called “uncircumcision” by the so-called “circumcision” that is performed on the body[a] by human hands— 12 that you were at that time without the Messiah,[b] alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise,[c] having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.[d] 14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one[e] and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 15 when he nullified[f] in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man[g] out of two,[h] thus making peace, 16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed.[i] 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 18 so that[j] through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 20 because you have been built[k] on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,[l] with Christ Jesus himself as[m] the cornerstone.[n] 21 In him[o] the whole building,[p] being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Blessings for the days ahead.
Yours faithfully in Christ’s fellowship
Bible Readings, New English Translation, from Bible Gateway
Full lectionary for the day can be found here
Song Healer of Hearts, Rev David MacGregor, Together to Celebrate
All other material written by Rev Amanda Nicholas.