Formed for Faithfulness: The Second Week of Ordinary Time

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Show Notes

In this second week of “Ordinary” (or “Normal”) time, Case reflects on the ways in which literacy is a gift of God’s common grace and invites us to pray for our school systems.

Nuance’s Formed for Formation is a weekly liturgy to encourage all of us to be faithful to Christ in the public square. Join Case Thorp as he follows the Church calendar through the reading of Scripture, prayer, and short reflections on faith in all facets of public life.

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Episode Transcript

We continue in the longest season of the Christian calendar known as ordinary time. It’s a period characterized by normality, rhythm, and the opportunity for deeper growth in our walk with Jesus across all aspects of life. 

We start with a poem entitled, Triumph’s Embrace. 

On the mountain top of grace, 

spiritual growth, a divine chase.

Victory in Jesus, a banner unfurled, 

new life dawns in the spiritual world. 

Joyful rhythms, hearts ignite. 

Christ reigns in triumphant light. 

Salvation’s whispers, a gentle breeze, 

carrying souls to eternal seas.

The 111th Psalm.


     the Lord is gracious and compassionate.

He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
    giving them the lands of other nations.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are established for ever and ever,
    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.

He provided redemption for his people;
    he ordained his covenant forever—
    holy and awesome is his name.


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111 resounds with praise for the greatness, faithfulness, and righteousness of our God. It invites us into a profound reflection on the character and works of the Lord. As we meditate on this Psalm, we are drawn into a deeper understanding of God’s sovereignty, provision, and grace. Verse 10 declares, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All those who practice it have a good understanding. Well, in the context of, say, adult literacy, this verse takes on a profound significance. Literacy, the ability to read and comprehend written language, is often regarded as a foundational skill that empowers individuals to engage with the world around them, pursue education, and participate fully in society. 

In a society, literacy can be seen as a manifestation of God’s common grace, a gift that enables individuals to explore and appreciate the wonders of his creation, including the scriptures. Just as Psalm 111 celebrates the greatness of God’s works, literacy allows us to study and delight in the written word, gaining a deeper understanding of God’s character, purposes, and promises. 

Moreover, literacy opens doors to knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual growth. Through reading, individuals can access resources that nurture their faith, challenge their thinking, and expire their devotion to God. They can engage with theological texts, biblical commentaries, and devotional literature, enriching their understanding of Scripture and deepening their relationship with the Lord. 

Yet, beyond the acquisition of knowledge, literacy also equips individuals to live out their faith in practical ways. It empowers them to advocate for justice, contribute to the flourishing of their communities, and share the gospel message with others. Just as God’s works are faithful and just, literacy enables us to pursue justice and righteousness in our own lives and in the world around us.

As we reflect on Psalm 111 and the gift of literacy, may we give thanks to the Lord for his provision and grace. May we recognize the importance of literacy in our own spiritual journey and commit ourselves to pursuing wisdom and understanding through the study of his word. And may we use the gift of literacy to glorify God, serve others, and advance his kingdom knowing that his praise endures forever and ever.

A reading from Deuteronomy 4 verses 5-10. Moses writes,

5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”

A prayer inspired by the Prayer Institute.

Holy Spirit, let the wisdom of God come alive among the members of our various school boards. Please draw unbelieving parents, educators, administrators, board members, and students to the Father through the witness of the believers. You have planted in our schools, awakened the awareness and compassion of our community leaders and legislators to the disparities within our current education system.

Convict the hearts of those who are not performing their duties in integrity and fairness. Help them become more diligent and focused on their obligation to protect the rights of all children to have access to the best academic experience possible.

I’m going to pause for a moment and I invite you to pray over the school boards, public charter and private schools in your area, homeschoolers and all the teachers and support staff involved. Let us pray for them now.

Loving father, forgive those who love ignorance more than knowledge. Forgive those of us for wasting precious opportunities to learn. Forgive us as parents for not being involved in our children’s academic lives as we should be. Forgive our legislators and community leaders for misappropriating and wasting vital funds to improve our education system. Forgive those of us for being too lazy to read and expand our minds. Forgive those of us not nurturing the learning process in our young children and impeding their growth and success through our selfish distractions. And so remind us as parents that the foundation of all education begins at home. Help us to not only teach our children the word of God, but to also take time to expose them to daily learning opportunities that will improve their understanding, strengthen us to model good discipline before them, and to teach them the value of literacy and education.

A reading from John chapter six, verses 51 to 58.

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”