With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5) O Lord, I am lowly and humble. You alone are my inheritance. Amen.
Word: Philippians 1:12-13
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
2020 is the most challenging school year for educators in at least a generation. Long tenured teachers say that by far these are the worst circumstances they have ever faced in education. Our church serves about 700 kids through our educational system, from our childcare center through high school. All of our schools are adapting and responding, educating while keeping kids and families safe.
But our school ministries are not just “surviving.” The mission is clearer than ever. Last week we had three baptisms of kids from our schools, ages 4-8. After the baptism of a second grader, I turned to the principal and said, “You know all the junk you’re dealing with? This is why it’s worth it.” He replied simply: “Yep.” The highlight of my week last week was when I asked a 5 year old girl: “Do you believe in Jesus?” “Yes!” she replied eagerly. “Do you want to be baptized?” “Yes!”
St. Paul was imprisoned unjustly for his proclamation of Christ. He called his jail time an opportunity to advance the gospel. He said, “My imprisonment is for Christ.” What opportunity stands before you? How is the gospel advanced under stressful circumstances? We all want to fast forward to a time when things “get back to normal.” But now is the time. Not when things “get back to normal.” Not when things are stable and comfortable. Today is the moment. The Holy Spirit of God is active. Advance the gospel.
Prayer for Family
· For my immediate family (parents, spouse, siblings).
· For extended family (cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents)
· For close friends that are as family to me.
· For those who don’t have families, or whose families are broken.
· For forgiveness and reconciliation where there is division in my family.
· For provision where there is need in my family.
· For God to be the foundation, and the cross the center of my family.
· For a generation yet unborn, future members of our family.
Lord of the Church, today I pray for my congregation. Strengthen the body of Christ I call my church home. Unite us in love. Strengthen us in faith. Send us in power. I pray for my pastors and leaders. I ask for your clear guidance as we do ministry. As St. Paul before us, help us to advance the gospel, in Jesus’ name. Amen.