Sunday 8th August 2021
11th Sunday after Pentecost

2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51

(Alternatives: 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8)

Todayís Old Testament reading is a particularly difficult one; David is confronted with the death of his estranged son, who has become his military opponent. While circumstances may not be the same, many find themselves faced with difficult ethical dilemmas through the world of work, or the consequences of actions which may or may not be their own, that are difficult and painful.

Elijah presents us with a quite different context, but nonetheless an individual who finds himself in the depths of despair and struggle. The words of the accompanying Psalms remind us that God does not desert us in the midst of such circumstances, nor is His Word silent - our faith is not something that we pursue despite the everyday circumstances of life, but something that can speak effectively into them.

This provides the backdrop for the powerful words of St Paul, reminding us that putting away falsehood and speaking truth can often be a difficult and challenging call. Nonetheless, this is our calling, which we can seek Godís strength to fulfil - our work can often be the place where this challenge is most prevelant. A prayer for this and the preceding week might be:

God of truth and justice, whose eyes are not blind to life in all its challenge and reality; help us to seek truth whatever the cost; speak truth no matter how difficult; and embrace truth not matter how hard it might be to bear. AMEN