We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
O Jesus, I pray to you today…
Every morning I begin with an address to God my creator and parent, but I know that every time I pray, it is through you and in your name and character, Jesus. I imagine you, sitting there on the couch across from me, leaning forward, looking into my eyes and heart as I pray. I can see the weathering of the world on your cheeks, the burden of the world on your shoulders, and the sadness of the world in your eyes. But I also see in them the twinkle of joy, the spark of eternal life itself. And, as I pour out to you all my joys and hopes, my pains and grief, my worries and squabbles, my sins and my failures… I can see spread across your face an empathetic smile of peace, the peace of God. Jesus, you have been where I am, walking this road of life, and you know that, in the words of Julian of Norwich (about 1400)
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
I am grateful for your smile of peace and the twinkle of joy in your eyes, O Jesus, even if it is just an image in my mind.
I want to follow you today, Jesus. I want to live as you taught me in your gospel story. I want to celebrate in the freedom of your grace. Live in me and through me, today, O Christ.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Luke 9:20
Read full text of Scripture for the sermon here: Luke 9:18-24
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What about Jesus is most attractive for you? What about the way of life he shows and teaches is hardest for you to follow? What does it mean to you that Jesus is savior?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
During the 40 days before Easter, early converts to Christianity would be taught using something called the Old Roman Symbol, an early version of the Apostles’ Creed. This was before the Scripture had been codified into the Bible we know today. During this time of preparation, they would come to understand the basic teachings of the faith, and then, on Easter Sunday, they would be baptized and invited to become a part of the church.
During this Lenten season, in our sermon series called Start Here,we are taking a look at the Apostles’ Creed, and using it as a guide for our own journeys of faith, helping us to clarify in our own minds what we believe. Last week, we talked about God the creator, and why the world itself points us to someone who created it. Magnificent art is not accidental, but comes from an artist. Creation is the work of a creator. This week, we will look at Jesus, and try to answer the question that Jesus asks Simon Peter, “who do you say that I am?”
I hope you are having a holy Lent. Don’t forget daily text messages, (Text “LENT” to 313131), our daily prayer calendar, Wednesday night Hour of Prayer and Healing at 6 p.m. in the Chapel, and Thursday noon Lenten concerts in the Chapel. And if you would like to join in a small group to study Start Here, here is your link: http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/lift.
Sunday | February 21
We praise You, O God, for in Jesus Christ we are set free from our sins and the darkness of guilt and despair. Thank you for sending your Son who brings light and salvation into our world. Amen.
Action: Write down Colossians 1:13 and read it throughout the day. Claim the light of forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
Monday | February 22
Dear Jesus, in you we have a shepherd to lead and guide us into a newness of life. We thank you God, for your watchful care that assures that no one under your watch gets lost along the way. Amen.
Action: Write a thank you note to someone who has served as a mentor to you.
Tuesday | February 23
Abide in us, Lord Jesus, and make our hearts your home. Help us to do everything in your name and bear witness to your great love. Amen.
Action: Write a brief journal note and start with these words: “Take my ways and may your ways become mine.”
Wednesday | February 24
O God, we confess that we often work for earthly possessions and goods that fade rather than for your eternal blessings. Forgive us and make us ready to serve you for your glory. Amen.
Action: Begin each new task by praying, “This is for you, God.”
Thursday | February 25
God, we are an anxious people in an anxiety-ridden world. Come again and renew your Spirit within us; enable us to live faithfully as we place our trust in you. Amen.
Action: Repeat this prayer twice changing “we” to “I”, “us” to “me” and “our” to “my”.
Friday | February 26
Gracious God, you are the Creator of all that is good and true. Help us to align our hearts with treasures that work to bring glory to your name. Amen.
Action: Secretly do something nice for someone at home, work or school.
Saturday | February 27
Compassionate, Loving God, give us an opportunity to extend compassion and care to someone who needs to know of your unfailing love. Enlarge our hearts so that all are welcomed in your Almighty name. Amen.
Action: Share a lunch with someone who suffers from hunger or loneliness.