This week's theme
Leadership: 2 Leadership in the Old Testament
1 Samuel 16:113
Open my heart, O God, to your teaching and help me to discern the goodness and feel the anguish of those in pain. Amen
For further thought
Listening for the underlying meaning of those who speak in riddles or confusion can help us discern what their fears and hopes might be.
Seeking out those who do not have the same privileges as we do is a way of offering friendship and giving immediacy to their stories.
After a long day, what aching part of your body would Jesus seek to touch and wash?
How can this passage broaden and challenge what Eucharist or the Lords Supper (with its shared cup, as in verse 23) and baptism mean to you?
What traditional ways do people use to stay close to the land where you live?
Take game-playing seriously, especially with the youngsters you know. Teach them, by example and because you love them, that playing honestly and well is the only way to go.
In what practical ways might you roll back the blame culture and replace it with attitudes of understanding, generosity and forgiveness?
When faced with a fresh challenge, before rushing to acquire additional resources time, money, skills consider decluttering as a way forward.
What ambitions drive, frustrate or energise your life?
Avoid discarding other peoples views or beliefs as rubbish. Instead, listen out for truth in unfamiliar places.
Take time to delight in your achievements however ordinary or small. Acknowledge and delight in anyone who has helped you be who you are today.
What are you called to say and to be in order that others might see the love of God made known in Jesus in your life?
When reading the words of Jesus, persevere beyond first impressions and listen out for deeper notes within the text.
Is it possible to win and rejoice even when youve lost something precious?
How can we learn to see the goodness of God in a situation that might seem entirely hopeless? Can we still trust in the dark?
Is there a time when youve found strength to do something you would never have believed you could? How has God been part of it?
Should we connect the blessings God gives us with righteous behaviour? Or does God bless us anyway?
If you have chosen to worship the Lord, is your understanding truly based on Gods character revealed in scripture?
Are there times when youve thought too much about getting a result and not enough about what God wants?
Do you truly appreciate the little things in life; that lifes wonders and joys are Gods blessings to be shared with others?
Have you ever felt abandoned? How did you keep your faith in God and in humanity?
Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand (Matthew 12:25).
Rewrite verses of Psalm 107 in your own words, using a situation that relates to your life.
What habits help you deal with fear and stress?
Which hidden things do you think need to be brought to light in our world today?
Doing the will of God gives us new identity, new worth and a sense of deep belonging.
Discipleship and sacrifice are inextricably linked together, inviting surrender to the authority of Jesus.
What traditions in your church community need challenging?
Which of your religious practices threatens to impede Gods action and create barriers?
Being overlooked by others does not mean you have been overlooked by Jesus.
'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.'
This week's writer
Alexandra Wright is Senior Rabbi of The Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London. She studied at Leo Baeck College, London, where she also taught classical Hebrew after ordination in 1986. She was volunteer chaplain at the North London Hospice and is drawn partic
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Our reading today is 1 Samuel 12:1-5