July 9, 2017, Lectionary

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This story can be a rich source for ancient cultural customs, an instance of God-guided courtship, and a patina for later well stories. Genesis 24:34-67

The call of God is intimate, joyful, wooing, and always present, always drawing me one more step toward God and good. Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Paul is genius at turning a negative fact or argument into support. Can't do well? Oh, that just confirms you know what doing well is! Romans 7:15-25

Jesus continues the invitation at every moment, "Come to me and I will give you rest." Out all those other invitations. Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Thoughts about Listening

What stranger will you meet today who might blossom under a moment's focused listening? Genesis 24:34-67

Someone I know, someone you know, is calling out for a few moments of real, honest-to-goodness listening today. Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Look for the deeper, honorable needs and commitments in the other person that show up, underneath the current words or actions. Romans 7:15-25

A listening presence is a restful, calming presence. It's a gift. Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Bible Reading Group Homework

1.    Where or when have you heard God’s voice recently? Was it strong or soft? Kind or stern? Tell the story.

2.    Read or listen to Genesis 24:34-67. Notice a number of cultural marriage practices in this story. Act the story out as a group. Then move beyond the cultural interests to think about and discuss the kind of love each party showed.

3.    Read or listen to Song of Solomon 2:8-13. This is the core of a love story. Use your imagination to picture and talk about who is speaking here and the tone of voice he or she is using. Then read the passage aloud together.

4.    Read or listen to Romans 7:15-25. People used to ask whether this describes life before or after “conversion.” How would this question change if you believe “conversion” is ongoing, with confession and forgiveness both always present in God?

5.    Read or listen to Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30. Read verses 25-30 three times aloud together. Discuss some of the other masters and burdens we tend to take on and multiply: stuff, busyness, noise, obligations, demands of fashion or “success.” Tell one way you will, by God’s grace, reduce other masters today.


1. ¿Recientememte, dónde o cuándo ha escuchado  la voz de Dios? ¿Era fuerte o suave? ¿amable o severa? Cuente la historia.

2. Leer o escuchar Génesis 24:34-67. Observe en esta historia una serie de prácticas matrimoniales culturales. Actúen la historia como un grupo.  Luego vaya más allá de los intereses culturales para pensar y discutir el tipo de amor que mostró  cada grupo.

3. Leer o escuchar el Cantar de los Cantares 2:8-13. Éste es el núcleo de una historia de amor. Utilice su imaginación para imaginar y hablar acerca de quién está hablando aquí  y el tono de voz que él o ella está usando.  Luego lean juntos y en voz alta el pasaje.

4. Lea o escuche Romanos 7:15-25. La gente solía preguntar si esto describe la vida antes o después de la "conversación". ¿Cómo cambiaría ésta pregunta si cree que la "conversión" está en proceso, con la confesión y el perdón siempre presentes en Dios?

5. Leer o escuchar Mateo 11:16-19, 25-30. Leer tres veces,juntos, y en voz alta los versículos 25-30. Discuta algunos de los otros retos y cargas que tendemos a asumir y multiplicar: cosas, ocupaciones,  ruido, obligaciones, demandas de moda o "éxito". Diga una forma en que por la gracia de Dios, se reduzcan hoy sus cargas.