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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, June 20, 2021

June 17, 2021
  • 1 Samuel 17:32-49
  • Psalm 9:9-20
  • 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
  • Mark 4:35-41

I tend to rationalize my shaky faith as being due to the difficulties of our time: pandemic-borne illnesses and troubles, arrogant political leaders, and looming catastrophic climate change. How can I believe that God will protect us from such evils? But our Collect for this Sunday asks all of us to pray, “O Lord, make us have perpetual love . . .” so that we will be worthy of God’s promised aid in troubled times.

All of our readings this week deal with this theme: faith in God – genuine unbounded faith – enabled David to overcome Goliath, enabled Jesus to overcome the storm and, most relevant to me, enabled Paul to lead the Corinthians through their muddled faith. It is easy for me to become impatient with Paul’s wordiness and complex arguments. But let’s read Paul’s plea this week with open hearts and minds. Paul, a devout and educated Jew, quoted Isaiah’s promise of God’s help (Is. 49:8) as the basis for his complete dedication to the lives of the Corinthians with a heart “wide open to you.” Yes, he did go on a bit with the “poor us” bit – but his dedication is sincere and complete.

Then there’s the Philistines – a perfect enemy – hateful in every way to the Jewish people and the source of famous ancient stories. Remember, they gave us Delilah as well as Goliath – two distinctly different evils. David, clothed in faith every bit as strong as Paul’s, understood that the God who protects him against lions and bears will likewise protect him and Israel from this human enemy.

Finally, Mark introduces several stories of the power of faith beginning with this one about stormy seas. And he emphasizes the difficulties the disciples had in accepting the Good News demonstrated by Jesus stilling the waves. I am not physically in the boat with Jesus as they were. Perhaps that’s why it is a lot harder for me to believe that God will protect us from contemporary storms. But that is, surely, the Good News being brought to us by all of these readings. Pray for help that we may love God with a faith that will save us all. 

  • What is your most difficult stormy sea right now? Have you prayed for God’s love or for God’s help? Is there a difference?
  • David used smooth stones along with his faith. What stones might you use against one of your storms?

Author:  – Chuck Medler


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