We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of love,
Sometimes you just expect too much. Prohibiting murder seems sensible enough. But Jesus tells us we can’t be angry at our sisters or brothers? Seriously? And we can’t call them fools? And I am supposed to reconcile with my enemies? What you are asking for seems beyond the reach of possibility. I can’t do it.
And yet, the words of Scripture echo in my mind.
- “If you can? echoed Jesus. “All things are possible to him who believes!” – Mark 9:23
- Jesus replied, “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.” – Luke 18:27
- For with God nothing shall be impossible. – Luke 1:37
- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13
God, it seems like lots of people are angry about things these days. We like to feel our anger is righteous anger, so we nurse it and feed it, rather than transform it into love. Forgive us, God. Your son Jesus turned his righteousness into love. He used his murder as the tool to reconcile the world to you. I pray that Jesus would come and abide in us so we can do the same, for nothing is impossible with you.
In the name of the murdered Christ, I pray.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment… Matthew 5:21-22 Read all the Scripture passages for this week’s sermon: Exodus 20:13, Matthew 5:21-26
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What makes you the most angry? What do you do with your pain? What might you do to redirect that energy?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
What an awesome all-church service project last Sunday at the Gethsemane campus as 160 people showed up to work together to bag beans and rice for food pantries all around. Ages 1-90 were there, and it looked a bit like the kingdom of God. Check out these photos!
This Sunday at 10 am in the Fellowship Hall, the amazingly brilliant Dr. Jim Fleming will be teaching on understanding the 23rd Psalm through the geography and culture of the Holy Land. All are invited.
This week, we continue our sermon series discussing the Ten Commandments. We will talk this Sunday, July 16, about the sixth commandment, “Do not murder…” Most of us think we have this one mastered pretty well. But Jesus makes it a bit more difficult. If you stay angry with someone, or call them fools, or refuse to “settle matters” with others, you remain “liable for the judgement.” Seems impossible to me. But maybe not so much to God. If you are not able to join us in church this Sunday, watch us where you are via LiveStream, watch the replay of the sermon online, or listen to the podcast. Just stay connected through the summer.
Sunday, July 16
Lord we pray for courage, discernment and tact while asking questions that are important to many. Amen.
Monday, July 17
Lord we pray for the Texas and U.S. legislature. Guide and equip them to govern with love for all and advocacy for the disenfranchised. Amen.
Tuesday, July 18
Prayers for the children who are living in poverty in Houston. Use us as your helping hands to those who are in need among us. Amen.
Wednesday, July 19
We pray for the students who have recently graduated and are moving on to the next stage of their lives. Be with them and guide them during the important crossroads of their life. Amen
Thursday, July 20
God, I pray for patience and trust. Help me to understand that all my problems do not have to be solved today. Please give me strength and hope. Amen.
Friday, July 21
Merciful Father, we feel anxiety sometimes as the leaders of this nation try to govern. Lord, be with each one of them and give them wisdom, knowledge, and compassion to make the right decisions for your people. Amen. -Prayer by Debbie Cuda
Saturday, July 22
Father God, I am grateful for Sunday School teachers who give their time and talents to lead children, students, and adults to a deeper relationship with you. Amen. -Prayer by Jennifer Gould