Pause

Breath of Heaven, comfort us with new life and hope.

Breath of Life, empower us to act creatively and compassionately.

Breath of Peace, guide us in the way of love and truth.

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Listen

You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over!

Psalm 23:5

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Think

At one of my former churches, we celebrated an annual banquet involving high school seniors and their parents, where the tables were turned. All the parents were expected to do was to show up. The seniors prepared the menu, decorated, cooked, and served the meal. It was a gesture of gratitude for the parents’ love, sweat, and tears through the years. Funny enough, some of the adults found it difficult to bask in the joys of being totally waited on by their children. It was a shift in experience.

Today’s passage involves a shift. God lavishes love and attention as if we are the main event and focus. A table is set before us; our bodies are given sacred care. How the tables have turned, it seems!

But that’s the problem right there: we mistakenly think that humans serve God, as if God needed our attention. I don’t think that’s the case.

I believe we love God because God first loves us. God sets a table before us – surprising us with mercy and grace, every single day of our earthly lives and beyond. It doesn’t quite make sense. But thank God for this experience shift!

Aram Bae

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Pray

God my Shepherd, oh how good you are. I am humbled by your care and attention towards me. May my response be one of gratitude, compassion towards others, and kindness in all I say and do, so that all may know you are their Shepherd, too. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

God the Shepherd, bless us and keep us.

God the Redeemer, smile upon us and be gracious towards us.

God the Spirit, lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.

And all of God’s people say: Amen.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA. She also adjuncts on occasion, teaching classes on faith development and religious identity. In addition to her passion for ministry with youth & families, she’s considering a new hobby—roller blading. #BringingBackThe90s #LordHaveMercy

Quiet as God

Carter Harrell

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