Subject: Daily Prayers and Scriptures: Monday, April 20

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This Eastertide, as we continue to navigate the shut-down of society and the global response to COVID-19, we are joined together through our common faith, and offer these daily Scripture readings for your spiritual reflection and encouragement.

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Monday, Second Week of Easter
Abiding (John 14:8-17, NRSV)

This week’s Gospel texts originate from the Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer (Louisville, KY:Westminster/John Knox, 1993).

14 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

Solomon Makes a Just Decision (1 Kings 3:16-28, NRSV)

The Home Daily Bible Readings for Monday through Saturday are selected in support of the Sunday lesson in the Uniform Lessons Series, ©Spring 2020.

3:16 Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19 Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine.” So they argued before the king.

23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; while the other says, ‘Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24 So the king said, “Bring me a sword,” and they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living boy in two; then give half to the one, and half to the other.” 26 But the woman whose son was alive said to the king—because compassion for her son burned within her—“Please, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him!” The other said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.” 27 Then the king responded: “Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered; and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him, to execute justice.

Praying With the Lord’s Prayer

By Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., President, World Association for Christian Communication-North America. Retired Director of Mission Theology, United Methodist Women

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

Our parent God, you teach us to stretch our hearts to embrace the whole humanity and see the common humanity of your worldwide children. Enable us to live into your vision of global solidarity and your intent of the One Church as a neighborhood of siblings.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

May your realm of healing and wholeness take root here on this pandemic- stricken earth, O God. Shatter our parochial tendencies that lock down your kingdom inside the building of our churches. Grace us with other-centeredness for living out your kin-dom here and now.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Give us daily food to keep us alive. Fortify the expendable women and men who set out to work daily so that we can have food on our tables. Reinforce our advocacy efforts for the most marginalized, now and beyond Covid-19.

“Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

We acknowledge the trespasses we committed against our fellow human beings, non-human beings, and the earth. We repent of our shortcomings. Grant us the grace to forgive all those who trespass against us, even when it is difficult to pinpoint who the real enemy is in this pandemic.

“Lead us not into temptation; deliver us from evil.”

Save us from ourselves, as we practice faith in the One who withstood temptations, and triumphed over evil. Equip us to address evil in the power structures that put profit before people.

“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.”

Yours is the final victory, O Eternal God and our Everyday Companion. You are the cross-over that connects the crisis-ridden present with the boundless eternity we will inherit, and that you will see us through. Trusting in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, we thank you. Amen.

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