We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in service and generosity.

WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
O Lord, my God… when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made… Who am I that you are mindful of me?
And yet, you have made me little lower than the angels. I can have a conversation with you, the maker of the universe, and share my whole heart with you. Wow.
As I pray this morning, the figures of trees are beginning to take shape in the early light outside my back window. The amazing rhythm of night and day, day and night, continues unabated, as it has since that day long ago when you separated night from day. Dusk and Dawn are seemingly unconcerned about the issues I have to deal with today. So dependable is the morning light. And yet you are concerned with my petty stuff, the challenges of the day. You are dependable not only in your amazing creation, but just so in your love. At the same moment, I can stand in awe of your majesty, and relax in the shelter of your love. Wow.
Today, O God, open my eyes that I might live in awe and wonder, and yet still know just how much each of us matters to you.Amen.

KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. –Genesis 1:31 Read the whole text for Sunday’s sermon here:Genesis 1, Psalm 8

QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION

Have you ever wondered whether there is a God? Have you resolved that in your mind? If so, how did you resolve it? When have you experienced a moment of awe and wonder?

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE

We are off to a wonderful start on our Lenten journey, with three meaningful Ash Wednesday services, and wonderful text message devotionals and activities from Linda Christians. If you want to receive those each day, text the word LENT to 313131. This week, we begin to study the most basic questions of the Christian faith. The series is called “Start Here: Six Questions for Skeptics, Seekers, and Thoughtful Believers.” We would love for you to be a part of one of the small groups: Eric Huffman and I have written the curriculum as a sort of conversation about these questions: Go here to register:http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/lift.
We start this week with the most basic question of all: Do you believe in God, and if so, why? Perhaps you have lived your life just assuming there is a God because your grandmother told you so. Is that a good enough reason? Come let’s talk about it on Sunday morning.
We also will begin the Lenten season by sharing in the Lord’s Supper together, the sacrament of Holy Communion. For me, the most significant element of the communion experience is called “the invitation.” I remind you always that to eat with someone at the time of Christ was a mark of intimacy, of close relationship, indeed of family. So when Jesus invites us to be at his table, he is inviting us to be in relationship. When he invites us to taste the bread and wine, he is inviting us to accept the sacrifice he made on our behalf. You are invited to make the Lenten season a time with Christ, to be with him, to know him, and to accept for yourself his sacrificial love.

PRAYER CALENDAR
First Sunday in Lent: February 14 

Glorious God, our world is filled with dark clouds that threaten to overwhelm us. Grant us the assurance of your presence with dawning of the light of each new day. Amen

Action: Consider how you have experienced the gift of God’s light shining in a dark experience in your life. Thank God for the gift of light.

Monday, February 15

Gracious God, come and fill us with your Holy Spirit. Banish all doubt in our believing, and grant us an abundance of your joy and peace to share with others so that their hope may also abound. Amen.

Action: Find a way to share joy in someone’s life today.

Tuesday, February 16

Dear God, please help us to fast from earthly things, and focus our eyes and attention on you. May we yield to our own desires and increase our dependency on you. Amen.

Action: Share a meal with a friend today and intentionally keep your phone in your pocket or purse so that you may be fully present and attentive to your friend. 

Wednesday, February 17

Open our eyes to see evidence of life in your Kingdom, O God. Like the flowers near streams of flowing water, may our lives bear witness to the beauty of your redeeming love. Amen.

Action: Take a walk and look for the beauty of God’s kingdom on earth.

Thursday, February 18

O God, your love is everlasting, unconditional and sacrificial. Help us to take one step closer to loving others as you love us. Amen.

Action: Call and check up on a friend. Offer your love in words of encouragement and prayer.

Friday, February 19

O God, thank you for giving us opportunities to see the unique beauty of each sunrise and sunset. In the same way, help us to see clearly the uniqueness of others we meet today. Amen.

Action: Tell someone something that you appreciate about them.

Saturday, February 20

Though you say there is no other god besides you; we confess that we often turn to idols to fulfill our desires. Take us by the hand, O God, and change our hearts. Turn us toward you, the one who is more than enough. You, O God, are the righteous one and our Savior. Amen.

Action: Name one thing that you put before God. Pray for God to direct your attention back to him.