Spiritual Homework Aug 5

August 5, 2020

Hello, church! I hope this finds you well. Please join me this week in continuing to pray for the health of the world, those devastated by disasters like the explosion in Beirut, those who are financially struggling, and for one another as we try to maintain physical, mental, and spiritual health. 


Ancient Texts 

In the Day4 group we are currently discussing some of the references made in the gospels to other literary works. Perhaps you’ve heard of titles like Enoch, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, and the Talmud, but you might not have realized they are quoted and alluded to often in the New Testament. You are always welcome to join our zoom meeting and discuss this topic with us, but also here’s a few books to get you started in your exploration of non-canonical Judea-Christian texts. First, there’s Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies, which provides intro material and a fantastic verse by verse appendix of allusions and quotations. Second, I recommend The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha for anyone who wants a very complete and thorough collection of texts. Finally, I recommend the site Sacred Texts for free access to many of these texts; use the links on the left to toggle between Christian and Judaism to see most of the relevant titles. 

Family Activities 

We hope you are continuing to practice Bible skills with your children.  Here are three new quizzes for you to work with them on.   


As you prepare for this Sunday’s worship 

Included here are the scriptures, reflection questions, and prayers that are thematically matched to our Sunday worship outline. 

Scriptures: Gen 37:1-4, 12-28; Ps 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b; Matt 14:22-33; Rom 10:5-15 

Questions for Reflection: 

Why did Jesus send the disciples ahead while he stayed to pray alone? How do times of turmoil and anxiety affect your trust in God?  

Morning Prayer:  

God of my destiny, thank you for a new day in which your purpose will unfold. Send me now as your servant to succor the suffering and as your disciple to declare the good news of your Son. Help me to remember during times of testing that your word goes ahead of me and upholds me. Amen. 

Evening Prayer:  

Son of God, this day has been crowded with work and service. This evening, bring me alone with you to the mountain to pray. Help me to know your reassuring presence with me through the night hours. May I come to you and rest in you. Amen. 

 Previous Links 

Below are the links to resources I have mentioned in previous emails for your continued reference. 


Weekly Lectionary 

Daily Lectionary 

Bible Gateway Reading Plans 

Phyllis Tickle’s, Divine Hours 

The Way of the Heart, by Henri Nouwen 

Breath Prayers 

Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth , by Walter Brueggemann 

The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun 

The Discernment of Spirits and workbook by Timothy Gallagher  

Blog on Prayer Labyrinths  

St. John’s Bible  

Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

Prayers for a Privileged People 

Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence by Wes Crawford 

Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman 

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron 


Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, by Brian Zahnd 

Dead Sea Scrolls 

What Was Wrong with Cain’s Sacrifice? 

What Is Worship? 

Sacred Places: In Search of Ebenezers 

Backwards: A Dangerous Reading of Matthew 6 

Poem of the Day