In case you did not pick up the new Northlake Devotional Guide or if you just left it about home, here is the devotional exercises for this week as we prepare for Sunday, September 11th – week three in our season of reflection on following Jesus as His apprentices in the Kingdom way of life.
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PERSONAL DAY (Part 1)
Meditative Reading: This section is beyond the ideal size for a practice of Sacred Reading (p26). Read the whole thing once, and then choose either 1:35-45 or 2:1-12 for your time of meditative reading.
(Part 1 and Part 2 can be done on separate days.)
PERSONAL DAY (Part 2)
Personal Reflection: When passages are listed, reread that section, and then write out your honest, personal reactions to the questions.
- v35-39. Jesus said that the very reason He came was to “proclaim the message” (NRSV). If you were to share with an unbelieving friend a summary of what Jesus’ message was as He toured the Galilean countryside, what would you say?
- v40-45. Again Jesus desires anonymity for his healing. Having large crowds seemed to be a hinderance to Jesus’ ministry! How does that contrast with our understanding of success? What does it say about the manner in which Jesus wanted to live life and do ministry?
- 2:1-12. The faith of his friends healed the paralyzed man. Who in your life needs your faith & God’s touch to restore them to wholeness? How can you go about this?
COMMUNAL DAY: Conversation Starters
(For discussion with your family, roommates, or a group of friends.)
- From your reading and reflections this week, what did God teach you?
- In v35 we see Jesus rising early to be alone for prayer. This discipline was vital to His life and ministry. What discipline time and place of prayer do you keep or need to keep so that you can follow Jesus faithfully?
- In v40-45 Jesus did not only speak healing over the leper, but He touched the man to restore his dignity and worth. Who are the “untouchables” today and in what way do we need to touch them?
Prayer of the Week: O Christ of the poor and yearning, kindle in my heart within a flame of love for my neighbor, for my foe, for my friend, for my kindred all. From the humblest of thing that lives to the Name that is highest of all. Kindle in my heart a flame of love. from Celtic Prayers from Iona
Jesus Experiment: Choose a quiet place that is away from people and outdoors. Choose a day and at least an hour that you can set aside going to this place. Spend time in the quiet alone with your Father just as Jesus shows by His example. Towards the end of your time, write down a reasonable set of days and times where you can practice solitary prayer on a regular basis.