A PERSONAL PRAYER
Loving and Gracious God,
Last week, I was going through my closet and found that photo album from 1982 given to me when I left the church in Duncanville. There were pictures of all the kids in the youth group being silly, signed with their names at the back of the album… The memories rush through me… I loved those kids and their families. It was such a special gift to spend that time with them. You know, I can’t remember any of the Sunday School lessons I taught them, and only one or two of the events on our trips together. But I do remember their faces and the feeling I had when I was with them. And those pictures of Dee and me together. My goodness we were young. You have taken us through so many things together, ups and downs, children and moves and grief and so much more. Thank you, God, for a partner and awesome mother for my children.
In short, God, thank you for people to love. I thank you for friends, for family, for colleagues and coworkers and congregants, and even for strangers who encourage me with a word or a smile.
Lord, I confess that sometimes I get my priorities mixed up. I think it is all about the next meeting or email, the next project or initiative. Forgive me. What matters most are the people you put into my pathway, the people whom I love, and who love me. I pray that you would help me to remember them, and never take them for granted.
In Christ, the one who called his disciples friends, I pray,
KEY VERSES FOR THE WEEK
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. — John 15:12 Read both passages of Scripture for today’s sermon here: John 15:12-15, John 19:26-27
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What relationships do you have that you have taken for granted? What distracts you from more faithfully nurturing the relationships you have?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, May 14, we continue our sermon series, “Keeping it Simple.” If you could condense the way of life Jesus taught us into a few simple principles, what would those be? Throughout May we will look at some simple verses to help us see more clearly how to live in this complicated world. This week, we will talk about relationships—friends and family. Do you see the people in your life as marvelous gifts to enjoy and appreciate, or do you take them for granted?
During the Month of May, all of our one dollar bills in the plate will go to support Sole Hope, a ministry that takes old blue jeans and turns them into shoes for vulnerable children in Africa, helping to prevent parasitic diseases while teaching and employing local Africans to make the shoes. Find out more about Sole Hope and how you can be involved here.
I want to issue to you a Summer Bible Study Challenge: Find a way to be in regular Bible Study with others this summer! Here at St. Luke’s you can do that in one (or more) of four ways:
1. Read the daily Bible readings in your Scripture + Shared app. Download the app here.
2. Sign up for the Bible in 90 days! You can do that here.
3. Take the “Bible 101” class to learn foundational information about the Old Testament.
4. Find a Bible Buddy, and if you didn’t do it before, go through the Journey to Jerusalem Study. The materials can be found on the Scripture + Shared app or on the website here.
We say “We study the Bible” is a habit, so let’s start a good habit this summer.
Sunday, May 14–Mother’s Day
Heavenly Father, we pray for our mothers who gave birth to us, the mothers of friends who have welcomed us as their own, our grandmothers who care for us, and the mother figures in our lives who have helped us in the absence of our mothers. Bless them, strengthen them, and encourage them. Amen.
Monday, May 15
Dear God, forgiveness is the greatest gift you give us. Help show others how Jesus taught us to forgive so that they may experience freedom in forgiveness. Even when Jesus was dying on the cross he practiced forgiveness, so we should too. Amen.
Tuesday, May 16
O God, I choose to follow you in all that I do today. Show me how to live out that choice every day and guide me towards you in all my actions. Amen. -Prayer by Ann
Wednesday, May 17
Lord, today I pray for everyone who is in cancer recovery. Be with those who are struggling with little hope. May they find comfort in your loving arms and know that you are the ultimate physician. I also pray for their family members as they take on the role of caregiver during this difficult time. Amen.
Thursday, May 18
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day, and help us to rejoice and be glad for it. Help us to see your hand at work throughout our day. Guide us that our thoughts, words, and actions will glorify you as we strive to be your apostles each and every day. Most of all we thank you for your son Jesus Christ. And it is in his name that we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Cyndi Boyd
Friday, May 19
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for this day and for all that you’ve given us. Please watch over all of those who need your help and guidance. And please let all of us have a great day today and every day moving forward. In your holy name we pray. Amen. -Prayer by Curt Smith
Saturday, May 20
Heavenly Father, I pray for all of the children who are sick. Please heal them and give their families peace. Amen. -Prayer by Barbara Stryker
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