We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
O Loving God,
Every once in a while, I get a reminder that I am mortal. I lead a memorial service and realize that there will be one for me as well. I sort through old family stuff and throw away papers and notes that belonged to parents and grandparents and realize how soon we fade into memory. I wonder what I have passed on to those who follow me, to my children, to those who know me, to the generations that follow? I wonder what my legacy will be?
Will I leave them with values that will endure? Or will the sins of their fathers be visited on my children and my children’s children?
Will they have learned from me to be about work that matters?
Will they know they are loved, and share that with others?
Will they love Jesus, and strive to follow him?
God, what I know is that the generations of people who come after me will be flawed just like I am but perhaps not quite so much. I pray that your sanctifying grace-giving Holy Spirit will work in each person individually and in the midst of your community of faith so that your kingdom continues to emerge and comes to full fruition in the world. It is the prayer I pray every day, that thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. I pray that I will have been just a tiny little part of that, so tiny that when I am long forgotten, the work you began in me will be brought to completion on that day.
In the name of the one whose work gives life meaning, Jesus the Christ.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous.” I Kings 2:2. Read the whole passage for Sunday’s sermon: 1 Kings 2:1-12
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What unfinished business have you left to be done, and how have you prepared those who come after you to do it? What do you want your last words to be?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we close our series on the Saga of David. We will take a look at the death of David, the ascension of Solomon to the throne and consider what David’s legacy was. It makes you think: What will your legacy be?
A preview of coming attractions:
- Next week, August 21, I will begin a three week sermon series titled “An Attitude Adjustment.” Do you ever need to change your attitude? Let’s look together at the 4th chapter of Philippians and see the way Paul challenges us to see the world and life in positive ways. A new attitude will get the fall and the new school year off to a great start.
- Beginning September 11, all of St. Luke’s, including The Story, Houston, will join in a four week series focused on what it means to be a church family and claim our common responsibility for forming children and youth in the faith. The sermon series is “Yours, Mine and Ours,” and Rev. Eric Huffman and I have written a small group and adult class study guide to accompany the series. I hope you and your small group will join in it. Dr. Chap Clark of Fuller Theological Seminary will be our Shamblin lecturer on that promotion Sunday, September 11, and reflect on his research on what it takes to build a “sticky faith” into our young people. As we prepare to open new buildings aimed at children and youth, how will we all take seriously and put into action the vow we make every Sunday in the baptismal response, to “surround these children with a community of love and forgiveness?” Remember, no building has ever told anyone about Jesus. It is the people in those buildings who do so.
- Put on your calendar the grand opening of our new facilities on Sunday, October 16, 2016!!! It will be a marvelous celebration and the culmination of five years of work and dedication.
Sunday, August 14
Everlasting God, you have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us. Yet, I find myself not taking time to listen to the Spirit inside me or not believing what the Holy Spirit tells me. Teach me to recognize when the Holy Spirit is guiding me, and help me to trust the wisdom of the Spirit. Show me how to be still and know that you are God. Amen.
Monday, August 15
God of all things, I know that with you all things are possible, and I know that my human understanding is limited. Help me to think outside of the box, and help me remember not to put you inside of a box. I ask that you bless me with wisdom to offer creative solutions to problems. Help me to see all of the possibilities in situations and bless me with the wisdom to act on the best solution. Let my actions point the world back to you. Amen.
Tuesday, August 16
Merciful God, you love me and accept me just the way I am. I am thankful for your unending grace. Yet, I still tend to judge myself and others harshly. Fill me with your love so that I may see the good things in myself and others and leave the judging to you. Bless me with your love and compassion so that it overflows into all that I say, think and do. Amen.
Wednesday, August 17
Almighty God, you have given me hope and created dreams inside of me. Let me not be afraid of dreaming big. Ignite a passion inside of me to follow my dreams and to trust in you. I know that with you, things will be even more amazing than I can imagine. Amen.
Thursday, August 18
Dear God, there are some many different aspects in my life. I struggle to find balance between work, home, church, health, relationships, etc. Guide me to develop good habits that will help me contribute meaningfully in each area of my life. I ask that you would help me set priorities and guide my To Do list. At the end each day, help me be successful in your eyes. Amen.
Friday, August 19
Faithful God, you have blessed me with the gift of family, friends, colleagues, faith friends—and the list goes on. Show me how to bless these relationships. Be at work in me and others so that we may join together to do amazing things in your name and for your glory. Amen.
Saturday, August 20
God of life, you have given me the gift of abundant life. Sometimes, I confess that I just go through the motions and rituals of life. But I no longer want to waste any of the precious moments that you have given me. Create in me a pure heart, and set me on fire with your passionate Holy Spirit! Let my excitement be contagious to those around me. Help me to shine your light into the world and to be an example of the abundant life that you have given to me. Amen.