Discussion, Study, and Prayer Guide for God's Priestly People

                                         for the week of 29 June - 5 July (PROPER 9)



                              Theme:  GOD IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL TO US


            VERSE:  "ALLELUIA!  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  ALLELUIA!" (Mt. 11:28; VERSE)


            + HYMNS FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  834; 699; 629; 756* 752; in Lutheran Service Book.  (In Lutheran Worship:  319; 348; 423*; 510.  In The Lutheran Hymnal:  277; 523*; 651; Meditate on and learn by heart the hymn(s) marked with an asterisk (*).)


   834  O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth
   699  I Heard the Voice Of Jesus Say
   629  What Is This Bread
   756*  Why Shoulld Cross and Trial Grieve Me
   752  Be Still, My Soul!



            + THE Psalm 145:1-14   (Pray the Psalm daily, [in its entirety if possible])



                                           THE PROPERS FOR NEXT SUNDAY


            + Psalm 145:1-14:  In this wonderful psalm of praise, the poet speaks of the grace and mercy of the Lord.  The good news he shares is that, "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. . . .  The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.  The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down" (vv. 8-9, 13-14).  What wonderful truth to contemplate and to share!

            + Zechariah 9:9-12:  It is a blessed relief to read this lesson after hearing over the past two weeks of the challenges Jeremiah faced.  God promises his humbled people that he will have mercy on them and graciously restore them.  Through "the blood of [his] covenant" he will give them freedom and peace.  What a wonderful comfort it is that God is not only the righteous judge, but also loving and forgiving.  May we ever cling in faith to his promises of mercy.

            + Romans 7:14-25a:  St. Paul describes the civil war that takes place within each believer.  Our sinful human nature fights against and resists the good impulses which God planted in us through Holy Baptism, impulses he feeds and nurtures through his Word. As we see sin prevail in ourselves far more often than we would like, we can agree with Paul's judgment, "What a wretched man (or woman) I am!"  But we can join him in rejoicing, for Jesus Christ our Lord rescues us from this body of death!  May this hope sustain us and strengthen us to resist sin.

            + Matthew 11:25-30:  Jesus rejoices that the mercy and grace of God are not reserved for the great and powerful, but are revealed to those who are not deserving.  It is the poor and needy in spirit, those who are burdened by guilt and shame and grief to whom God reveals his mercy.  As Jesus says elsewhere, he "came not to call the righteous" (Mk. 2:17), but "to seek and to save the lost" (Lk. 19:10).  "Rest for [our] souls," what a great blessing this is, even in the midst of difficulty and trouble to have real peace!



                                             DAILY READINGS FOR THE WEEK


            Monday:                Joshua 4:1-24                               Acts 9:23-43

            Tuesday:               Joshua 5:1-6:5                              Acts 10:1-17

            Wednesday:          Joshua 6:6-27                               Acts 10:18-33

            Thursday:              Joshua 7:1-26                               Acts 10:34-48

            Friday:                   Joshua 8:1-28                               Acts 11:1-18

            Saturday:              STUDY the Readings for Sunday (the Propers noted above)

                                 OR   Joshua 10:1-25                             Acts 11:19-30

            Sunday:                 Joshua 23:1-16                             Acts 12:1-25


                        CATECHISM FOR THE WEEK:  (Please learn by heart).



THE THIRD ARTICLE:  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

What does this mean? (part 1)  I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.


            THE COLLECT FOR NEXT SUNDAY [Proper 9] "Gracious God, our heavenly Father, Your mercy attends us all our days. Be our strength and support amid the wearisome changes of this world, and at life's end grant us Your promised rest and the full joys of Your salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever."  AMEN!