May 15, 2016
Celebrate
Series: Easter
Celebrate
Then he told his servants, ”We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests”... The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on – every place filled."
Matthew 22:8-9, The Message

Gospel: John 14:8-17 [25-27]

Though the disciples struggle with Jesus’ nature and identity, they receive the promise that they too will be identified with God and God’s mission. Though he must leave them now, Jesus promises the coming of the Advocate whom God will send to comfort and enlighten them. 8Philip said to [Jesus,] “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. [ 25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”]
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  • May 15, 2016Celebrate
    May 15, 2016
    Celebrate
    Series: Easter
    Celebrate
    Then he told his servants, ”We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests”... The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on – every place filled."
    Matthew 22:8-9, The Message

    Gospel: John 14:8-17 [25-27]

    Though the disciples struggle with Jesus’ nature and identity, they receive the promise that they too will be identified with God and God’s mission. Though he must leave them now, Jesus promises the coming of the Advocate whom God will send to comfort and enlighten them. 8Philip said to [Jesus,] “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. [ 25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”]
  • May 8, 2016Delight
    May 8, 2016
    Delight
    Series: (All)
    Delight
    Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. - Matthew 18:5
    Father, open my eyes and heart to encounter each day like a child with playful acceptance and delight. I ask your Holy Spirit to help me delight in each person who crosses my path this week.

    Gospel: John 17:20-26

    Jesus prays that the life of his followers will be characterized by an intimate unity of identity with God. To be so identified with God means also to share in God’s mission: to proclaim the word that will bring others into this same unity.
    [Jesus prayed:]
    20“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26
    I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
  • May 1, 2016Refresh
    May 1, 2016
    Refresh
    Series: Easter
    Refresh But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. - Ephesians 2:13-14
    Pray the 23rd Psalm: Lord you are my shepherd; I lack nothing. You make me lie down in green pastures, and lead me beside quiet waters. You refresh my soul.
    Use imaginative prayer. Rewrite Psalm 23 with your own specifics: a hurt, where God is leading you, what is refreshing you. Then pray it. Walk in your neighborhood or in nature. Take note of those things that refresh you.
    Give thanks to God for those things that are automatically given to you by Him.

    Gospel: John 14:23-29

    As Jesus talks of returning to the Father, he promises to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will teach Jesus’ followers and remind them of all that Jesus taught. Even more, those in whom God makes a home will experience a peace that overcomes fear. 23Jesus answered [Judas (not Iscariot),] “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. 25“I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29
    And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.”
  • Apr 24, 2016Acceptance
    Apr 24, 2016
    Acceptance
    Series: Easter
    Acceptance You must treat foreigners with the same loving care – remember, you were once foreigners in Egypt.
    Deuteronomy 10:19, The Message
    Dear God, open my heart so that I can see people as Jesus knows them and see Jesus in the people you bring to me. Make me attentive to those who are taking tentative steps towards you.
     
    Focusing on what makes us the same keeps the channels open for connection. Say a prayer of acceptance: “He/she wants to be heard just like me. Just like me, he/she is worthy of love”. Seek someone who may have a different faith or perspective than you. Engage in a conversation just to understand their view and not voice yours.

    Gospel: John 13:31-35

    After washing the disciples’ feet, predicting his betrayal, and then revealing his betrayer, Jesus speaks of his glorification on the cross. This deep complicated love of Jesus, even to death on the cross, will be the distinctive mark of Jesus’ community. 31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35
    By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • Apr 17, 2016Embrace
    Apr 17, 2016
    Embrace
    Series: Easter
    Embrace Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! - Hebrews 13:2, The Message
    Dear God, we prayerfully usher in those visiting our homes or our church. May they experience YOUR gracious love through our words and actions.
    Each person can receive a greeting if we all look around and let God point out someone to say hello to. Wait before the Lord. Listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then GO! When you are out in the community, be mindful and aware of others in need of help, or a person to converse with. There are many who are secretly suffering. Be open to the nudge of the Holy Spirit.

    Gospel: John 21:1-19

    The risen Christ appears again to his disciples by the sea where they were first called. After echoes of the fishing and feeding miracles, he gives a final reminder of the cost of a disciple’s love and obedience. 1After [he appeared to his followers in Jerusalem,] Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. 8But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. 9When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19
    (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”