This week's theme

Readings in Matthew (4): Jesus – challenged and challenging

Today's reading

Matthew 22:34-46

Today's prayer

O Lord, make us instruments of your love.

From Fresh From the Word 2017

For further thought

Which member of the love triangle identified by Jesus God, self and neighbour needs strengthening in your life at the moment?

The belief in the power of God over all human experiences, including death, offers assurance to us as we encounter the challenges of life.

How are you using the power entrusted to you? Let us pray for Gods guidance to use it to reflect his goodness.

Choose a tricky life question and try to answer it from loves perspective. Will there be a clear answer? Imagine Love judging us all.

Many different things are important in life. But in what do you find your peace at night? Perhaps that is what should be treasured.

Where have you recently found astonishing fellowship with others?

Go for a walk and watch for tiny details. When you find something, let it capture your attention. How does it make you feel?

Read about a scientist you like. Try to picture him or her without hopeful faith in their work. Would they still have come that far?

Pick someone you dont know very well, perhaps even a stranger. Tell him or her something nice that you sincerely mean. What happens?

Each day refresh me with the amazing fact that I live simply by your grace.

Hands open to receive are hands open to help, to heal, to hold anothers.

What written laws have I created for myself and now condemn myself every time I break them?

Grace and peace are often coupled together. How does one help explain the other?

What is this new person like? Take a long look at Jesus.

Maybe there are churches today that could do with a little more humility.

How do some seek to inhibit the healing of the poor in your community?

How can you translate and participate in the mission of contestation in your own context?

How can churches move from lobbying to being and becoming truly alternative public spaces?

Re-member the dis-membered communities this All Saints Day!

What needs re-formation in your community and country?

Find out more about Lutherans in India, including on the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) website, www.nccindia.in

How can we be more attentive to the plight of those whose human rights are diminished or violated by abuse?

How do we cherish and hold on to the memories of those we love and who are no longer with us? And how can we express our gratitude for all the blessings they brought to us?

How can we know when the pleasure we pursue is fleeting and illusory? And how do we recognise the enduring power of love and happiness?

Do we have the courage to allow our children to be what they are destined to be without imposing our own expectations on them?

When we have lost our way, our lives bleak and lonely, let us ask, how can we honour and be faithful to our friends?

How do we create a sense of belonging somewhere and the confidence that we each have something to contribute to the well-being of society?

The traditional Christian and Jewish answer when justice does not come on earth is that justice definitely be served in the hereafter. What do you make of this?

Moses was also like Gideon in making excuses for not believing in God. What other biblical characters come to mind?

Do we put our trust in numbers or in God?

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International Community

'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'

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This week's writer

John Holder is Archbishop of the Anglican Province of the West Indies. John was born in Barbados. He also studied for ministry in Barbados and has taught Old Testament in theological college there. He has contributed to The Africana Bible (Fortress, 2010)

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Celebrating 135 years!

Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.

Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.

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