LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; Lord, Your love is more powerful than hate. Give us confidence to live that truth. Give us confidence that Your way is the best way; not the easiest. Be with the health care workers around the world fighting the good fight, Comfort the sick and lonely, and help our leaders. may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen MEDITATION (After he was tempted in the desert) He returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:14-19 One of my favorite movies is About Time*, it’s romance about a young man named Tim who can time-travel back through his own life. It’s also profoundly about family and love. His parent’s love for one another, their unconditional love for eccentric Uncle Desmond, his love for his very unique and troubled sister, his care and love for his dad’s difficult friend Harry and his discovered love for Mary. It approaches the value of living everyday with kindness, good humor, and grace through the unexpected story telling lens of time-travel. So how does this relate to Jesus? In a scene between Tim and his dad, they are discussing some very sad news, and Tim implies that he thought that with the gift of time-travelling they could stave off death. His dad replies, “No”, while it is a great power, it can’t do that. He says, “Look at Jesus, He was the Son of God and look how that turned out?” Jesus did not begin His ministry until He had publicly received an anointing by God’s Spirit. Have you ever wondered why? I mean, the trinity is the word we use to try to talk about the unique multiplicity of God’s nature, Father, Son, Spirit, but they are also ONE. So Jesus didn’t probably need the Spirit in the way that we need the Spirit. Instead it seems part of the reason was so that there were witnesses that this man was God’s chosen, preceded by John the Baptist, a man full of the Holy Spirit, and identified as the “one to come”, the Christ. Yet, is it not telling that Jesus waiting for God’s Spirit, the disciples wait in Jerusalem for God’s Spirit, that all of creation waited for God’s Spirit (see Genesis 1:1-2). If you remember, the evidence that God’s Spirit is at work in our lives is, sometimes a dove descending from heaven and the voice of God, but usually its love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control. Jesus acted in a way contrary to EVERYONE’S expectations. He had power but was humble. He elevated the unseen, poor, and outcast. He rejected classic ways to power and instead sought the margins. He kept silent when accused yet berated the leaders and powerful for their sin. In this very broken world the only one we follow left some clear instructions, “Wait for my Spirit, love your enemies, follow Me, take up your cross and be willing to die.” But not just die defending what’s yours or standing up for your rights, Jesus died surrendering his rights for the very people killing him-that’s sacrifice and that’s love. Jesus was the Son of God and He had all kinds of power and look how that turned out…for you. *About Time is rated R and has some graphic language and sexual innuendo not appropriate for younger audiences. DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/jeremiah/ for an overview of Jeremiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/philippians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Jeremiah 1:1-2:30 Isn’t it interesting how Jeremiah, like Moses, did not want the job that God was giving him? We like this text from Jeremiah about being known by God. But what does it mean in the original context? Was it meant for us? Why is God bringing judgment against the Southern Kingdom of Judah? (v 16) God makes a special point of setting Jeremiah against who? (v 18) This might be why Jeremiah is afraid, and God knows it. God repeatedly assures Jeremiah of His presence. (This is something WE can trust in) In chapter 2, Jeremiah will proclaim that Judah has committed two sins. What are they, and what does he mean by this? (v 13) Philippians 1:27-2:11 Paul’s life is an example of what it means to follow Christ. Here in chapter 2 he talks about what Christ has done and why. What jumps out at you from chapter 2? Psalm 115:1-11 Throughout the prophets and the psalms, we find this comparison between God and idols. What does the psalmist say is the difference between the two?
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