We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
I need to succeed. I don’t want to be a failure.
I need to be valuable, to make a difference in the world.
I need to become a good person.
I need to be a wonderful son, husband, father, grandfather, friend.
I need to make you proud of me, God.
I am Martha, working away, putting my shoulder to the wheel and leaning forward for your kingdom.
What? No? I don’t need to do any of those things?
“There is only one thing that is needed.” I guess all I need is you. To be with you. To love you and be loved by you.
“God does not love us because we are good. God makes us good because he loves us.” — C.S. Lewis
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her. — Luke 10:42
Read the whole text for Sunday’s sermon here: Luke 10:38-42
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Can you look back and see some holy moments you missed fully experiencing in your desire to achieve or become? What are three things you can do to “stay stuck” in your relationship with Christ along your life journey?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week we finish our series Unstuck, thinking together about how we find God’s presence all along the journey. I wonder if you ever try to earn God’s favor by accomplishing something or becoming something. Perhaps this transformation is just a byproduct of something else… Come this Sunday and let’s talk about it. (Yes, we are still having church on Sunday even though the Super Bowl is in town, and the game doesn’t begin until 5:30, and the traffic isn’t going to be that bad.) And when you come, bring a bag full of non-perishable food for the Christian Community Service Center Food Pantry.
Next week, we launch our new Bible Study ministry: Scripture + Shared. St. Luke’s leadership set a single lofty goal: 2000 people in regular Bible Study with others in 2017. Go to your app store on your tablet or smartphone now and download the app (search for Scripture + Shared). Or go to https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/bible to find out more or to sign up. I would love for you to be in a LIFT group to do Bible Study together. If you don’t feel like that fits for you, perhaps you might find a Bible Buddy.This might be a friend, a coworker, family member – even someone who lives far away, and you can look at the videos together, or separately, and exchange your thoughts and answers to your questions via email. We will begin this spring with a study of the life of Jesus in the gospels, called The Journey to Jerusalem. It will begin February 12 and conclude just after Easter. Together, we will look at the arc of Jesus’ life, and how Matthew, Mark, and Luke have specific themes and agendas as they tell the story. The study will overlap with my sermon series during the latter part of Lent.
Sunday, February 5
Dear Lord, Thank you for the blessing of my wonderful children. I am awed and humbled daily by the amazing responsibility and profound honor you’ve bestowed upon me as their mother. As they turn into adults before my very eyes, please give me the faith to trust that you have their hands as they let go of mine. Amen. -Cassandra McZeal
Monday, February 6
Dear God, I’ve felt really discouraged lately. My schedule seems to get busier and busier, but I never feel like I’m actually getting anything done. Please help me keep my relationship with you a priority, because nothing else I accomplish matters if I’m living outside of your will. Help me measure success by my obedience to you and not by items checked off my to-do list. Amen. -Kimberly Pinckney
Tuesday, February 7
Gracious God, Today is a gift from you. I pray to live it with a joyful heart to show your love and open hands to do your work. Amen.
Wednesday, February 8
Dear God, Thank you for the miracles that you have made for us. Oh Lord, please give food to the hungry and hope to the poor. Thank you so much for the time that you spend in our hearts. We are extremely grateful for all that you have done for us. Amen. -Kara Lewis, 10 years old
Thursday, February 9
Thank you Lord that I can come to you at any time of the day or night and you always have time to talk to me. Amen. -Sondra Koenig
Friday, February 10
Christ Jesus, The hurt in this world is overwhelming. It is in countries far away that I will never visit, it is in my neighborhood, my family and my own heart. I cannot fix it alone and often do not reach out because I do not know where to begin. Today I begin with prayer and faith that you are the midst of the pain with me. Let me look for and up to you in all circumstances. Amen.
Saturday, February 11
My Lord, Today I lift up the students of St. Luke’s. The pressures during the middle school and high school years come from all directions and are so intense. I pray each young person knows they are loved by you and by me just as they are. Amen.
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