Scripture: Psalm 33:12-22 (NRSV)
12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
Reflection: Beyond Biblical Literalism
God of depth and diversity, thank You for inviting us to partner with You in sustaining, protecting and striving to save the good that exists in our world today. Thank You for instilling in us the desire to make it even better. Thank You for our laughter and our tears, all reflections of the depth of emotions and passion You bless us to have in our human experience. Please, draw near to us. We need You, even if we are needed as well. Amen
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the family and friends of Drew Page, who served the Southern New England Conference and the historic Connecticut Conference staff for more than 12 years, including as editor of this Starting with Scripture weekly devotional. Drew also served in various communication roles, including as news writer, videographer, AV event support, and IT specialist. Drew died July 27, 2022. His obituary and August 6th memorial service information.
- For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war
- For those grieving or suffering due to the ~25,500 gun violence deaths in the US this year
- For those suffering from the extreme heat conditions
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For clergy, and others, who are helping people to see that we have profound purpose, and that our lives have deep meaning in relationship with God
- For friendships formed and blessed memories made at summer camps
- For the birth of Ameena Nanette Mabrouk to parents Heather Ramsey Mabrouk and Nawfal Mabrouk. The Rev. Heather Ramsey Mabrouk is the SNEUCC Together We Thrive Program Director and Director of the Center for Transformational Leadership
This Week in History:
July 30, 1965 (57 years ago): Medicare, a program providing hospital and medical insurance for Americans age 65 or older, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. Currently 80,907,990 individuals are enrolled. [History]
“Study the past if you would define the future.”
The Rev. Shawn Fisher is Senior Pastor at First Congregational Church of Bloomfield, CT.