Read and Ponder each passage.
Write the words that leap out to you.
Meet the challenge to write a prayer using all the words you selected.
Then select a phrase or sentence from the passage that grabs your attention.
Write several personal I BELIEVE statements about each passage.
(Try not to let my examples get in your way.)
Words that leap out:
Holy Lord, You call me to keep the Sabbath but more often than not I do not. You call me to pray but I find my self like Martha, busy with many things. You call me to love and it is my deepest desire to love with all that is within my being. Still, when I examine my own spirit, there are moments when love is the more difficult way. I find myself wrestling with my own selfish desires. I find that when I least expect it I am not living and speaking in loving ways. Forgive me, Lord. Break my heart for those who whose lives are impoverished by loneliness, by greed, and by the very fact that life has dealt with them in ways that causes great sorrow and brokenness. Bend my life toward a deepened sense of compassion for those who lives have been shattered in ways that I often fail to recognize or am unwilling to see. Open my eyes to the need around me so that I will see with the eyes of Your heart. These things I pray on bended knee. Amen.
A phrase or sentence from the passage that grabs your attention:
“Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don’t do what I say?”
I believe prayer is best done in places of stillness and quiet.
I believe I am called to love my enemies as difficult as that may be.
I believe compassion is the highest calling God can give.
I believe when I live in a spirit of forgiveness I will experience forgiveness more frequently.
I’ve been thinking about discipleship lately and this gospel lays it before us clearly. Chapter 5 gave us the call of the first disciples and here Jesus picks the remainder of his team. Luke is clearly laying the foundation for a new order that is going to be in direct conflict with the old. Work on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath and the notion that human need pushes beyond the restrictions of the Pharisaic law will cause Jesus difficulty. I appreciate scholars who help us understand that this conflict that is set up by Jesus as told through the eyes of Luke points us to the reality that the Pharisees are caught between their struggle to choose between competing obligations and the difficulty in accepting Jesus’ new teachings.
The call to observe the Sabbath now is set in conflict with the command to love one’s neighbor. Is the duty of Sabbath rest more important than the call to feed the hungry and heal the sick? Can the love of God be separated from the love of neighbor? Or is the love of neighbor an expression of our love of God? This challenge will reverberate throughout the Gospel of Luke.
If we are deepening our lives in Christ it will reverberate within each of us as we seek to deepen our lives in Christ. Discipleship is demanding and it will challenge us to follow Jesus into the hard places as the balance of chapter 6 indicates.
January 18, 2014 – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm | Location: Brentwood UMC (MAP) | Please RSVP by Jan. 6, 2014
Bishop Bill McAlilly has announced an Area-wide training event for all Memphis and Tennessee Conference local church clergy and lay leadership scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 at Brentwood UMC in Brentwood, TN.
The training event will feature Bishop Bill McAlilly and Dr. Derrick-Lewis Noble, a United Methodist pastor from Los Angeles, CA, who was also featured Bible Study leader at both the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences this past June. The theme for the event is “Evangelism & Mission: Making Discipleship Possible.” The event will be an all-day gathering with registration beginning at 8:30 am. More details and an agenda will be released shortly.
Pre-registration is available online for $10, which covers lunch and materials. All registrations for the event will close on January 6, 2014.