Third Sunday after Pentecost- Week of June 21, 2020
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Adult and Small Child
Read: Genesis 21:8-21
Reflect: In our story today, God comes to rescue a little boy and his mama. Sometimes, especially when we are little, we might worry that we are too small for God to notice, that maybe God is in charge of the grownups and we have to wait until we are grown up to matter. You matter to God—no matter how little you are, or how big you get, you will always matter to God. Sometimes, we may feel worried that God isn’t hurrying as fast as we would like. We might wonder if God is running late or has forgotten about us. One of the most wonderful things about God is that God invented time, so God is never late. God can always make enough time to take care of us, no matter what. God is always working for us, working things out, making a way for us to be safe and happy.
Respond: Talk to your little one about why water in the desert is important, why it was a miracle that the water appeared to Ishmael and Hagar. Then take your little and make a donation of water to your local shelter or food pantry. Pray for thirsty people—and those who need clean water—during your evening prayers.
- Rachel Jones
Adult and Elementary
Read: Matthew 10:24-39
Reflect: While growing up in New York City, I rode the subway. Once, when the subway moved from underground to a raised platform to go over the Brooklyn Bridge, I shrieked with nervousness. I am afraid of heights. I am also a wee bit afraid of spiders and of being in the dark.
Is there anything that you are afraid of? In this reading, I’m reminded that God cares about all of us and that God values us. Towards the end of the reading where it is written, “And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid...” (Matthew 10:30-31, NRSV) When I feel bravery coming over me, it’s a good warm feeling. It slides up from my ankles up the back of my legs, all the way up my back and then it is all over me! I can live without fear and so can you!
Respond: Ask a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult to share a cup of tea or hot chocolate with you. Do you feel the warmth spreading out from your belly, to all over your body? This warm feeling is similar to what bravery feels like.
- Imani Driskell
Adult and Youth
Read: Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
Reflect: Praying is hard. Asking for help is hard. Loving like Jesus is hard. When we don’t know the words that we need to say, God does, but sometimes, we like being able to express ourselves. This is why the Psalms are so wonderful. They cover all human emotions. They have words of happiness, joy, and praise to God. They have anger, sadness, and lament to God. This week’s Psalm gives us words to ask for God’s help. The writer is asking God to listen, to be present, and to give strength. They are asking for God’s help, which we sometimes treat like Santa Claus. The writer isn’t asking God’s help in specific, “please fix this one thing in the one way that I think it should be fixed” ways. The writer is asking God for help for forgiveness, in being stronger, and feeling comforted. The writer acknowledges that God is the one who is powerful, and they want to be able to feel and know God is there, and for others to see God in them. Having others see God in us is how we continue to share the Good News.
Respond: Print or write out a copy of the Psalm reading. Read through it and circle the words or phrases that really resonate with you right now. Use those words to pray to God. Feel free to keep it somewhere and return to it with a different color pen when there are new or different words that help you express what you need to say to God.
- Maggie Paul
Adult and Adults
Read: Matthew 10:24-39
Reflect: I worry a lot. I wish I didn’t, but I find myself often concerned with the future. “What if this happens? Or what if that happens? Will I be okay?” Even when things are going well, it’s easy to give in to a sense of unease. In the midst of my anxieties and fears, the voice of Jesus speaks: “Do not be afraid.”
Jesus promises that we do not have to be afraid of the many things that can cause us fear. God is a loving parent who cares for us, so even death is not something that we need to fear. And if God cares about birds, then we don’t need to be afraid of God either, because of how much more God cares about us.
As we face our lives, we can take heart because we know that God is in our corner. We have an ally in the God who loves us, so we do not have to let our worries control us. Instead, with God’s help and governance, we can live our lives freely, free to live with courage, free to live with hope, and free to trust our loving God.
Respond: This week, say aloud your fears and worries to God. Offer them to God and trust that God is with you in your fears and worries, promising God’s presence to you even in your greatest fear.
- Clayton Harrington
Download a printable copy of this week's devotions HERE.