Scripture Focus: Mark 8.17-18
Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? 

From John: It is important for us to intervene when we see injustice, or become blind to it. It is important for us to respond when God prompts our hearts, or become immune to his influence. It is important for us to obey when he speaks to us, or become deaf to his still, small voice. May this repost from 2019 help keep open our eyes and ears and soften our hearts. 

Reflection: For Those Yet Unseeing — Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

Often people of faith express the wish to be able to stand among the disciples, seeing and touching, and experiencing Jesus first hand. There’s nothing wrong with such a fanciful wish as long as it is simply a wish to stand in his presence. (We know in faith that we will stand in his presence, and bow down.) 

Often, this wish comes with assumptions. 
We assume that faith comes easily when we witness miracles. 
We assume that the disciples were ancient simpletons and that our quick modern minds would easily decipher Christ’s pedagogy of parables. (We ignore that science tells us that our species’ intelligence has been identical for eons.)

We are wrong on both those counts.
Those who witnessed the miracles of the Bible still struggled to have faith.
Some modern scholarship has not brought us greater understanding of Christ, but has muddied the waters with doubt, conjecture, and fringe theology presented as “faith” accompli—as if it has always belonged to the mainstream.

Junk science is rejected by an overwhelming percentage of scientists. Junk theology is rejected by an overwhelming percentage of theologians. It is ironic that some who reject junk science are willing to accept junk theology and some who reject junk theology are quick to accept junk science. Both groups are blind, deaf, mute, and immobile.

When we pray this prayer of intercession for the blind, deaf, mute, and immobile in our culture, may we not forget to include ourselves.

A Prayer of Intercession from Great Britain
Thank you, God, for the Church,
Help us to share fully in the church family.

We pray for people who are blind:
Help them to see Jesus.

We pray for people who are deaf:
Help them to hear Jesus.

We pray for people who cannot use their legs:
Help them to walk with Jesus.

We pray for people who cannot speak clearly:
Help them to know that Jesus understands.

Please help us all to serve you.
Fill us with the fruit of the 
Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

*Prayer from Hallowed be Your Name: A collection of prayers from around the world, Dr. Tony Cupit, Editor.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
When your word goes forth it gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. — Psalm 119.130

Today’s Readings
Genesis 38 (Listen – 4:24)
Mark 8 (Listen – 4:29)

This Weekend’s Readings
Genesis 39 (Listen – 3:08) Mark 9 (Listen – 6:16)
Genesis 40 (Listen – 2:59) Mark 10 (Listen – 6:42)

Read more about Forgiveness to Soften the Hardened
There is no level of spiritual achievement or growth at which one is not susceptible to hardening of the heart and the spirit. Christ’s call echoes again. Calling us deeper into every discipline we pursue.

Read more about God of the Weak and Doubtful
When God shows us his doubtful children, he comes to where we are, puts his reassuring hand on our shoulder, and claims us as his children as well.