Monday, June 27, 2022

Creativity... bringing Order out of Chaos

Lord,
In the first story of creation, you, O God, 
brought order out of chaos through your creativity.
When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was complete chaos, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be... and there was...  -- Gensis 1:1-3ff
I thought that was it. 
I thought your bringing order out of chaos 
was over and done after creation.
But you keep doing it.

When we break your order 
through selfishness and violence,
you created order, new order, 
through your forgiveness and redemption.

When we turn away from you to our own ways of living 
seeking power, fame, and possessions,
you create order, new order,
through your covenant promises and steadfast love.

When we ignore you and your life-giving way
making a name for ourselves and ignoring the least of these,
you create order, new order,
through your justice and peace.

When we create chaos
using hate in words, actions, and apathy,
you create order, new order,
through self-giving love and resurrection.

Over and over, Lord,
your creativity compelled by your deep love
innovates bringing order out of the chaos we make.

Teach us, Lord.
Inspire us.
Empower in us 
the capacity to imitate your creativity.
Help us see the chaos all around
as a wide variety of inputs
the raw materials, 
the wide palette, 
the many threads
available
out of which to innovate and weave new possibilities 
beyond sight and understanding
revealing about your new order, 
your new creation.
Amen.

Monday, May 9, 2022

5 Simple Actions... some might help when you are anxious

Lord,
there is a lot in the world
that bring anxiety and 
feelings of being overwhelmed.

A Methodist pastor friend of mine
shared the below video:



I especially liked the line...
"There's no shame in struggling, only reasons for reaching out."

Lord,
when I feel anxiety, overwhelm, fear...
remind me that those are my body, heart & soul's way
of letting me know I need to reach out
to you, or 
to a friend, counselor, pastor...

Help me call on & speak with
a friend, a counselor, & you, my Lord.
Help me breathe deep, 
reconnecting with my breath & body, 
reconnecting with your presence in and around me in love
reconnecting with creation and creativity 
all gifts from you.

Give me the strength to act and 
ask for the help I need.
For I am not alone,
you are with me
and the people of God, the Body of Christ are too.
Amen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

A morning prayer

This is another day, O Lord. 
I know not what it will bring forth, 
but make me ready, Lord, 
for whatever it may be. 

If I am to stand up, 
help me to stand bravely. 
If I am to sit still, 
help me to sit quietly. 
If I am to lie low, 
help me to do it patiently. 
And if I am to do nothing, 
let me do it gallantly. 

Make these words more than words, 
and give me the Spirit of Jesus. 
Amen.

~From the 
Book of Common Prayer, p. 461

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Day the Music Died

Lord,
the news has affected me more
than I would have thought.
He was demanding.
He yelled more than he should have.
He pulled his hair out.
He pushed us hard --
sometimes to the breaking point (his and ours).
But I guess he was the only teacher
I had in high school for all four years
plus hours and weekends on the football field.
My high school band director died this week.


In recent years,
I have reflected on my band experience.
We were a diverse group
of varied races and cultures,
with wide-ranging interests (metalheads to athletes to geeks),
from varying economic backgrounds
who all happened to live in a small city in South Carolina
and all were interested in music.
We made beautiful music.
hard music -- equal to most college music programs.
We were guest directed by contemporary composers and
the director of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band.


I was sad to learn of my band director's death.
That news came the same day
as the news of the death of another influential musician.
She had been organist and choir director
of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC.
But she was more than that.
She would welcome new people,
help them discern their gifts,
and then connect them to ministries.


Lord,
for many of your children,
music is a powerful expression and experience of faith.
We are grateful for the musicians you have put into our lives.
I am reminded of what St. Augustine wrote:
"'Those who sing pray twice."
O Lord,
Hear the songs of our hearts.
Amen.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Discerning God's Will: An Announcement to Share!

 


Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Prayer for Easter

We give you thanks, great God, for the hope we have in Jesus, who died but is risen and rules over all. We praise you for his presence with us. Because he lives, we look for eternal life, knowing that nothing past, present, or yet to come can separate us from your great love made known in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

John 20:1-18

            Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

            But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

 

What do you think Mary is looking for? A dead body? A friend? Answers? Next steps?

 

 

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” What “announcement” does God have for you to share?

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Discerning God's Will: The Silence

 


Holy Saturday, April 16, 2022

Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Isaiah 53:7-9

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

    yet he did not open his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

    so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away.

    Who could have imagined his future?

For he was cut off from the land of the living,

    stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked

    and his tomb with the rich,

although he had done no violence,

    and there was no deceit in his mouth.

 

 

 What are some ways justice has been perverted in our days?

 

  

 

 

Jesus was innocent and yet was killed. Today we remember the silence of his grave sealed with a tomb. 

What words of grief do you need to share with God in the silence?

Friday, April 15, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Turned Away from God

 


Good Friday, April 15, 2022


Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Isaiah 53:3-6

He was despised and rejected by others;

    a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;

and as one from whom others hide their faces

    he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities

    and carried our diseases;

yet we accounted him stricken,

    struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,

    crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the punishment that made us whole,

    and by his bruises we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have all turned to our own way,

and the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.

 

 

What are some ways we have “turned to our own way?”

 

  

 

What are some ways we have despised or rejected God?

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Blessed in Doing/Serving

 


Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022

Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

John 13:3-17

          During supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

          Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

          Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

          Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

          Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

          After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

 

In what ways has Jesus washed you clean?

 

 

Jesus concludes, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”  What “things” is Jesus calling us to do?

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Salvation/Love for Humans/Animals

 


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

  

Psalm 36:5-9

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

your judgments are like the great deep;

you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!

All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light we see light.

 

 

What are some ways you have experienced God’s “steadfast love?”

 

 

  

 

What do you think it means that God saves “humans and animals alike?”



Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Judas or Mary?

 


Tuesday, April 12, 2022


Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

John 12:1-11

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard [a spice], anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

 

 

 

In what ways are we like Judas Iscariot in this story?

 

 

 

 

What are some ways to understand Jesus’s statement, “You always have the poor with you?”

 

 

 

In what ways do Mary’s actions challenge us?

Monday, April 11, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Humility, not Exploiting Power

 


Monday, April 11, 2022


Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Philippians 2:5-11

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-even death on a cross. Therefore, God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

What are some positions of power and influence in our lives or in our world that are “exploited” for gain/profit/benefit?

 

 

 

  

What are some things Jesus’s humility and obedience to God teach us about how we are to live?

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Stones Shout Praise!

 


Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022


Prayer for Holy Week

Journey with us, O holy God, as we continue our way to the cross. Sharpen our focus, that our attention may center more on you than ourselves. Lead us through the shadows of darkness and prepare our hearts, that we might be a people of prayer, trust and obedience. Help us truly see and respond to your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Luke 19:28-40

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,

“Blessed is the king

    who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven,

    and glory in the highest heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

 

 


What are some words you would use to praise God joyfully for “all the deeds of power” you have seen God do in your life?

 

 

 

If the stones were to shout out, what might they say to praise God?

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Care and Compassion for the Least

 


Saturday, April 9, 2022


Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Matthew 25:34-40

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

 

 

Who are the “least of these” in Jesus’ family?

 

 

  

What acts of care and compassion is Jesus inviting you to do?

 

 

  

What acts of care and compassion is Jesus inviting our congregation to do?

Friday, April 8, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Focus instead of Worry



Friday, April 8, 2022

Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Matthew 6:25-34

          “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

          And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

          So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

 

What are some things about which you worry?

 

 

What does Jesus invite you to focus on instead?

 

 

What are some things about which our congregation worries?

 

 

What does Jesus invite our congregation to focus on instead?

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Discerning God's Will: Making a Way



Thursday, April 7, 2022


Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice of one calling:

“In the wilderness prepare

    the way for the Lord;

make straight in the desert

    a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be raised up,

    every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level,

    the rugged places a plain.

And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,

    and all people will see it together.

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

 

  

In order to make “the way for the Lord,” who or what needs to be “raised up?”

 

  

 

In order to make “a highway for our God,” who or what needs to “become level?”

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Discerning God's Future: How Might Age Help?



Wednesday, April 6, 2022


Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Genesis 12:1–4

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

 

 

In what ways do you think Abram’s age help him obey God?

 

  

What about you, in what ways might your age help you obey God?

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Discerning God's Future: The Lord Our Refuge



Tuesday, April 5, 2022


Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Psalm 34:1-10

I will bless the LORD at all times;

          his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

          let the humble hear and be glad.

O magnify the LORD with me,

          and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

          and delivered me from all my fears.

Look to him, and be radiant;

          so your faces shall never be ashamed.

This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,

          and was saved from every trouble.

The angel of the LORD encamps

          around those who fear him, and delivers them.

O taste and see that the LORD is good;

          happy are those who take refuge in him.

O fear the LORD, you his holy ones,

          for those who fear him have no want.

The young lions suffer want and hunger,

          but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

 

 

Think of a time when the Lord delivered you from your fears. What was the situation? What was the result?

 

 

In what ways has the Lord been a refuge for you?

Monday, April 4, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Not One Thing



Monday, April 4, 2022

Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Romans 8:38–39

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

  

What are some things that seem to separate us from God’s love?

 

 

  

What are some ways our congregation can live out the truth of this passage?

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Come Help with Good News

 


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Prayer for Week 6

God of silence and God of all sound, help me to listen. Help me to do the deep listening to the sounds of my soul, waiting to hear your soft voice calling me deeper into you. Give me attentive ears that begin to separate the noise from the sounds that are you; you who have been speaking to me and through me my whole life, for so long that you can seem like background noise. Today help me hear you anew. Amen.

 

Acts 16:6-12

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days.

 

 

To whom or where might God be inviting our congregation to “come over” and “help?”

 

 

  

What Good News do we have to proclaim/share with them or there?

 


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Praying for Needs



Saturday, April 2, 2022

Prayer for Week 5

Today, O God of all days, give me an experience of your heart. Draw me deep into your very being, into the core of your love for me, others, and the world. Give me a glimpse of others the way you see others: loving them, forgiving them, and delighting in them. Help me to discern how I too might be a useful vessel of your love in the world. Amen.

 

Matthew 6:5-8

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  

 When and where do you pray?

 

  

What does God know you need right now?

Friday, April 1, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Trust that Leads to Straight Paths



 Friday, April 1, 2022

Prayer for Week 5

Today, O God of all days, give me an experience of your heart. Draw me deep into your very being, into the core of your love for me, others, and the world. Give me a glimpse of others the way you see others: loving them, forgiving them, and delighting in them. Help me to discern how I too might be a useful vessel of your love in the world. Amen.

 

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

 

  

When has it been hard for you to trust God?

 

  

Think of a time when trusting God led to “straight paths.”


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Discerning God's Future: Shared Leadership Makes a Difference



Thursday, March 31, 2022

Prayer for Week 5

Today, O God of all days, give me an experience of your heart. Draw me deep into your very being, into the core of your love for me, others, and the world. Give me a glimpse of others the way you see others: loving them, forgiving them, and delighting in them. Help me to discern how I too might be a useful vessel of your love in the world. Amen.

 

Acts 6:1-7

Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

 

The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

 

Who is invited into leadership in the early church?

 

  

What are the results of this new ministry?