A PERSONAL PRAYER
Sometimes, I am lonely.
Sometimes, I feel like I don’t fit in, alienated from those around me.
Sometimes, I don’t fit with the progressives or the conservatives, the rich and powerful or the poor and marginalized, the church folk or the secular folk, the Bible thumpers or the Bible deniers. Oh, I know I am privileged, God. But nonetheless, that feeling keeps returning in moments of uncertainty. Strangely, as I talk to others, I hear almost everyone say the same thing. Why is that?
Your Scripture reminds me that I am simply on a sojourn, that this place is not my home, as my home is in heaven. And in those moments I feel estranged from others, I understand again that the one place I can be truly taken in, welcomed, is with you. You “sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God.” You took me in. You made me a part of your family. You invited me to your table.
You know how I know that? Because when I think of my family, those people I love so much, I know that I would willingly die for them. And you willingly died for me, God. You did it out of your incredible overwhelming love for me. That is how I know I belong to you.
God, when I feel like a stranger in a strange land, pursue me like you did on that day long ago. Knock on my door once again, and show me how to open the door and let you in, that you and I might share both a holy feast together. I suspect there will be others there with us too.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray,
Key verse for the week
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. Revelation 3:20
Questions for Conversation and Reflection
When have you felt like a stranger, like you don’t fit in? Who has demonstrated to you real Christian hospitality? In what ways do you think our access to resources impacts our experience of hospitality?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week, we begin a three week series on the Biblical practice of hospitality, entitled “Open Hearts and Open Doors.” This week, we will look at a definition of hospitality, and the basis for our Christian hospitality — we have a radically hospitable God. Then, for the two weeks following, we will discuss how we can practice hospitality. Finally, during the month of September, we will try to put it into practice as we intentionally focus on reaching out to others to invite them into relationship. 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.
Go see Babes on Broadway, the production by our Pure Sound Youth Choir, in the Rotunda theatre this weekend. Info right here.
September is coming, and we launch a whole series of new group studies. This is the time to make your plans to get into a Bible study or Christian study of some sort. Go to the group life page here.
Sunday, August 20
God, fill my heart with your love so that it overflows into everything I do. Open my eyes to see new opportunities to show your love to others. Show me how to love in all circumstances. Let love guide my actions. Amen.
Monday, August 21
Father in Heaven, I know that true joy can only come from you. Draw me close to you so that I may experience your joy. Then, O Lord, make my joy contagious. Amen.
Tuesday, August 22
Heavenly Father, in a world full of struggles and turmoil, you give me peace. Bless me with opportunities to pass your peace onto others. Amen.
Wednesday, August 23
God, I confess that I pray expectantly for instant results. I know deep inside that you love me and that you have great plans for me, but it is hard to be patient. Show me how to use my time wisely, for your purposes, while I wait… patiently. Amen.
Thursday, August 24
Heavenly Father, Jesus was filled with compassion, not harshness. I pray that when my heart is hardened by the world, you would break it open and move me to compassion. Let my words and actions be a reflection of your loving kindness. Amen.
Friday, August 25
Loving God, even though evil is present in our world, Jesus tells us to have faith because he has overcome the world. Be at work in me to use your goodness to overcome evil and to bring about positive change in the world. Amen.
Saturday, August 26
Lord, I have a tendency to become busy and overcommitted, losing sight of true priorities. Grant me wisdom to be selective of the things I fill my time with so that I may be faithful to all that you have called me to be and do. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
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