Pause

Time spent together is often the best gift we can give. Take a moment to express gratefulness for those who have given you the gift of presence.

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Listen

At that time Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry so they were picking heads of wheat and eating them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are breaking the Sabbath law.”

But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry? He went into God’s house and broke the law by eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple treat the Sabbath as any other day and are still innocent? But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what this means, I want mercy and not sacrifice, you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent. The Human One is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12:1-8

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Think

“But, I thought you would at least…” “Well, I thought you would know…”

Those words can hurt. Those moments when we realize that we have not met someone else’s expectations can cause us to doubt ourselves and everything we do. In the passage from today there were indeed high expectations — Jesus and his disciples broke a rule and the Pharisees were “done” with them.

In responding to their criticism, Jesus loosely quotes Hosea 6:6 — I want mercy and not sacrifice. Hosea’s actual words are “faithful love” where Jesus says “mercy.” What is more important than our expectations or those of others? Jesus says: our mercy and our faithful love are. Mercy can be defined as “not getting what we deserve.” How do we respond when others don’t meet our expectations? Mercy and faithful love! How do we respond when others judge us for not meeting their expectations? Mercy and faithful love!

May we all be known as people who always place a priority on giving mercy and faithful love.

Dale Tadlock

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Pray

Gracious God, I am in awe when I think about the mercy and love that you extend to us each day. When the judgment of others hurts, help me to reflect you and respond with mercy and faithful love. At those times when others do not meet my expectations, may I be a person of mercy and faithful love. Amen.

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Go

To whom might you give the gift of time and presence today?

Go with the assurance of God’s presence, acceptance, and desire to be together with you and those around you.

Go in peace!

Dale Tadlock

Dale Tadlock is the Coordinator of Youth Programs at Passport Camps and coordinates the PASSPORTmissions Team each summer. When he isn’t at Passport, he loves baking for others, cooking with his family, and playing with his family’s one-year-old goldendoodle dog, Ellie.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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