Good Morning Watsontown United Methodist Family,
Today’s Daily Devotions will be a “Lead Yourself” devotion.
Theme: Welcome the Stranger
Holy God, Your ways are strange to us, and the language of radical love You speak is unfamiliar to our ears. Help us to welcome Your presence among us and to receive Your word as the finest food for nourishing a generous spirit within us. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Psalm: Psalm 81
Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival; this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. When God went out against Egypt, he established it as a statute for Joseph. I heard an unknown voice say: “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket. In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you— if you would only listen to me, Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it. “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
Song: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Reading: Exodus 23:1-9
Laws of Justice and Mercy
“Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness. “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit. “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty. “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent. “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
What “new” insight did you gain from today’s text ? How might you be able to apply today’s reading to your day today? Who would you like to share today’s reading with?
May the God who became a stranger so that we could become friends with God and one another transform our wary hearts into welcoming ones. Amen.