Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, May 24, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of Easter

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-complementary/2020/05/24?version=NIV

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, May 24, 2020 — Seventh Sunday of Easter
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

Ascension Sunday
Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

Opening Statement
With the eyes of our hearts enlightened, we put our faith in Jesus Christ, who was raised from the dead, and whose body is the church. Proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in the name of Christ.





Opening Prayer
Gracious Lord, this morning we come to you with so many things on our hearts. Keep our hearts and our minds open to your words of healing and of hope. Give us spirits of courage for all the times ahead. We ask your blessing on all those this day who are afflicted with illness and debilitating diseases, for those who mourn, for those who feel lost and alienated from family and from friends. Be with these dear people. Help them to feel your comforting and restoring presence. Give to us also, Lord, a spirit of peace and joy that we might llive your love through our attitudes and actions. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.


Prayer of Confession
Patient God, it hasn’t been easy for us to be disciples or witnesses to your love. We get caught in traps of anger, impatience and fear. Our words and spirits become cynical and jaded. Yet, at all times, you are with us, guiding and guarding us. On this day in which we celebrate the ascension of Jesus into heaven, we are reminded that we are not being left without guidance. The promise of the Spirit is given and in that promise we have hope and courage to become true disciples. Forgive us when we forget that! Forgive us when we act as though you didn’t care about us or about this world. We are called to be those who live the faith of hope and reconciliation, of courage and understanding. Lift us up when we have fallen, guide our hearts when we speak, for it is in the name of our risen Savior Jesus that we ask these things. Amen.


Words of Assurance
Although you have not stood on the mountaintop to see his ascension to God, yet believe in the love and power of Christ who taught you how to be faithful and joyful disciples. Rejoice, and believe in him who came that you may have abundant life.


The Collect
(from the Book of Common Prayers)
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


Prayer of the Day
O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


First Reading
Jesus’ companions at prayer
1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


Sing to God
1  May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
     may his foes flee before him.
2  May you blow them away like smoke—
     as wax melts before the fire,
     may the wicked perish before God.
3  But may the righteous be glad
     and rejoice before God;
     may they be happy and joyful.

4  Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
     extol him who rides on the clouds;
     rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
5  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
     is God in his holy dwelling.
6  God sets the lonely in families,
     he leads out the prisoners with singing;
     but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

7  When you, God, went out before your people,
     when you marched through the wilderness,
8  the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
     before God, the One of Sinai,
     before God, the God of Israel.
9  You gave abundant showers, O God;
     you refreshed your weary inheritance.
10 Your people settled in it,
     and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
     sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
     who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
     whose majesty is over Israel,
     whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
     the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

   Praise be to God!


Second Reading
God sustains those who suffer
4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.


Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. [Jesus said] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Alleluia.


The Gospel
Christ’s prayer for his disciples
17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.


Here end the Readings


Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message


  • I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

  • I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to hell. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

  • I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen


Holy Communion
A nondenominational serving of bread and wine

Many churches around the world are working hard to adapt to online worship, and one challenge is how our members can celebrate communion from home. Though no video can truly replace the experience of celebrating together in our places of worship, we know that where two or more are gathered, the Lord is present.


Benediction
Go forth in hope. Go forth with the knowledge of God’s presence with you. Go to serve God by taking care of each other and God’s world. Go now in peace! Amen.



Now that Easter has passed, our part in the work of Easter begins. Jesus gave us the perfect example of how we are to live our lives. Go into the world, share the good news, and reflect Jesus to those in need.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Daily Lectionary for SUNDAY, May 24, 2020
Ascension/Seventh Sunday of Easter
Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11

“The Ascension of Jesus”


Our message comes to us today from the 1st chapter of the book of Acts, beginning with the 6th verse, “Jesus’ companions at prayer.”

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. (Acts 1:6-14)



“The Ascension of Jesus”

Before the days of modern navigational aids, a traveler made the Atlantic crossing in a boat equipped with two compasses. One was fixed to the deck where the man at the helm could see it. The other compass was fastened up on one of the masts, and often a sailor would be seen climbing up to inspect it.

A passenger asked the captain, “Why do you have two compasses?”

“This is an iron vessel,” replied the captain, “and the compass on the deck is often affected by its surroundings. Such is not the case with the compass at the masthead; that one is above the influence. We steer by the compass above. (Tan, P.L. “Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations”, 1924)

As Christians, where is our compass? Is it on the earth, or is it in things above? Today, I’d like to look at the story of the ascension and examine both what it means in the ministry of Jesus, as well as how it affects us today. What was the ascension, and why should we spend time looking up?

In the Old Testament, Jesus was the messiah predicted from long ago. The prophecies of old talked about a coming messiah. Throughout the scriptures that our Jewish fathers followed, the words spoke of a savior who would rescue men from sin and lead the world to redemption.

When Jesus finally came on the scene, it was with much fanfare: a star leading the way for wise men and angels rejoicing the birth of the new king. We make a big deal out of Christmas with trees, colorful lights, beautiful displays in stores, concerts in our schools, Christmas markets, and even carolers. We celebrate the gifts the wise men brought to the messiah when we exchange gifts with family and friends. We celebrate Christmas with a bang, and it’s a very big deal. We remember the coming of our Lord into this world. We don’t forget that Jesus came into the world.

Similarly, leading up to Easter, we remember the week prior with services during the season of Lent. We get palm leaves to celebrate Palm Sunday and the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Some choose not to eat meat on Fridays during this remembrance period. During Holy Week, we remember the first communion that Jesus celebrated with his disciples and the events that eventually lead to the cross and His death. The celebration really begins with Easter as we celebrate His resurrection and the defeat of death! We throw special celebrations with sunrise services, often accompanied by pancake breakfasts or special Sunday brunches set-up, especially for the day. We decorate crosses with flowers, put on our new, best clothes for the day, and make a special day of the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. We don’t forget that Jesus died and rose again.

From the prophecies of a coming savior to the birth of our Lord to the death and resurrection, we celebrate these events as we should, but we don’t give the same attention to the ascension of our Lord. For 40 days, Jesus walked the earth after His resurrection. For 40 days, He continued to meet with and witness to many. When His final earthly message was delivered, He rose up into a cloud with a few disciples as witnesses. I’d like to look at the significance of that event and see what it tells us of the things to come.

Think about the events that led up to this passage of Acts that you read a moment ago. Jesus has suffered so many pains and heart-aches that we can scarcely understand the physical and emotional suffering. He bore on His shoulders the punishment of sinners, even though He Himself was a spotless lamb. He willingly suffered on our behalf.

Three days later, He rose from the dead and walked among men. He appeared to His disciples and allowed Thomas to touch the wounds. He even ate with them to show that He had a physical body.

But, some have contended that Jesus’ rising from the dead was only in the imagination of a few delusional men and women. Others have gone on to say that even His death on the cross never happened. How much credence do these stories have? Is it possible that Jesus lived a different life as the book the DaVinci Code would have us believe? If so, the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension would all be fiction. But, God’s plans are not so easily dismissed. Jesus did die. Jesus did rise from the dead, and Jesus did ascend to Heaven.

God added credence to the truth that Jesus was truly raised by allowing 40 days on earth to walk, talk, and reach out.

He did these things to show that it was not a dream. He did these things to give credit to the stories that would follow. He talked with his disciples during this period and gave them directions on what to do next. In Matthew 28, Jesus gave a direct command to His disciples. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

At this point, the disciples had seen numerous miracles. Jesus had healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, raised the dead, and even risen from the dead! For 40 days, he continued his ministry with the disciples, preparing them for the things to come. He used this time to build them up and send them on their way.

But, Jesus had no intention of continuing this phase of his ministry forever. When the time was right, He chose to return to the Heavenly realm and allow the disciples to enter into their own ministry. The ascension ended Jesus’ ministry on earth and began the phase of the Apostles.

But, it was more than a dividing line. It also demonstrated God’s power. Jesus defeated death, then defeated gravity. Jesus showed that He was able to go beyond the normal rules that apply to men and showed God’s power. The ascension demonstrated that Jesus is still alive.

Before He took this journey, Jesus explained what He was going to do. In John 14, Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:2-4) Jesus is going to prepare a place for us, and we are to join him.

Keep this text in mind as we continue, but let’s go back to our message in Acts for a moment. The words “in the same way” show that Jesus will come again. Just like his first coming was a physical appearance with a visible body, so again the next coming will also be a physical appearance with a visible body. Jesus came back from the grave not just as a vision in the minds of believers, but in the physical appearances to over 500 people. Acts chapter 2 attests that many people saw our Lord and not just a few wishful thinking. When Luke wrote of this appearance, there were still many walking around the earth who could attest to the fact that this took place. This was not the wild and lose imagination of a select few wishful thinkers. This was the unbelievable power of God shown in the resurrection of the messiah.

The ascension was another of these public displays. It was another way to confirm that this was not an ordinary man that suffered the punishment of Roman rule. It was a message that God was there with His chosen one. It was a message that His ministry, His words, His message were all unique and different.

Rather than marking that Jesus’ ministry was other than ordinary, He had a word that we need to pay attention to today. Retake a look at Acts 1, verse 11. Two men robed in white, probably Angels sent to deliver this message, said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11).

Jesus’ resurrection was indeed in body and not just in spirit. He ate with the disciples. He allowed Thomas to touch his wounds and his side. He walked, talked, breathed, and interacted with those around Him. The disciples had no idea that He was going to leave them. They were enjoying the company, companionship, and the leadership of their previously dead Rabbi. They wanted to continue to follow Him and gain the insight that only He could provide. They wanted to continue with what they had enjoyed in the past. But, this was not to be. Jesus left the world into a cloud and left miraculously just as his resurrection was miraculous.

But, that’s not the end of the story The Angels who spoke gave us a promise that Jesus would again come. His coming would not be in a vision or a dream but would be a physical appearance. He will come back in another unexpected way just as he left in an unexpected way. As he ascended to on high, He will one day return.

Just as the disciples didn’t know that Jesus was going to leave them, we don’t know when Jesus will return. We don’t know when Jesus will come again to take His followers to the place He has prepared. The disciples were prepared by Jesus Himself to begin their ministry as the Apostles. We don’t have the physical Jesus to prepare ourselves, but we continue to have His words of wisdom and the promise that He will always be there for us in the future. We must be ready when He chooses to come back.

I’d like to close with a story which I think best sums up our situation today.

A young lady busied herself, getting ready for a blind date. He had promised dinner at an exclusive downtown restaurant with live music and dancing. She wanted to make a good first impression; she had taken the day off work. She cleaned her apartment; she went out that afternoon to have her hair done and get a manicure. When she got home, she put on her best dress and was ready for his arrival. The time came and went, but he did not knock.

After waiting over an hour, she realized that she had been stood up. She took off her dress, let down her hair, put on her pajamas, gathered all her favorite junk food, and plopped down to watch TV with her dog. Sometime later, there was a knock at the door; it was her date.

He looked at her, surprised, and said, “What! I gave you two extra hours, and you’re still not ready to go?”

Jesus has given us a few hours more than we expected, but he is coming. Does your life reveal that you are ready for his return, or is your profession not matched by your practice?

The waiting began many years ago with the ascension of Jesus into the Heavenly Kingdom. He left because his earthly ministry was over. He had another phase of service to prepare a place for our arrival. As believers, our Heavenly home is waiting for us just as we wait for our savior.

Just as the woman in our story waited for her date, we too wait for the bride-groom of heaven. However, it’s up to us to be prepared for He will arrive when we least expect it.

Let us pray: Father God, forgive us for not always being ready for your return for your Church. Lord, help us to live our lives like we really believe that you are coming back for us. God, we don’t want to be caught out of place when you come. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

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Scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Sermon contributed by Scott Jensen.
The Ascension is an important part of the ministry of Jesus. He came to save our sins, and He will come again when we least expect it. Be ready!

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, May 24, 2020

https://biblegateway.christianbook.com/common-prayer-liturgy-for-ordinary-radicals/shane-claiborne/9780310326199/pd/326199
The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, May 24, 2020

Ambrose, a fourth-century bishop of Milan, said, “Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, a hymn in praise of God, the assembly’s homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the church, a confession of faith in song. It is the voice of complete assent, the joy of freedom, a cry of happiness, the echo of gladness. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. Day begins to the music of a psalm. Day closes to the echo of a psalm.”

Let the moments and the hours of this day reverberate with sounds of our singing, with the words of the psalm, and with the praises we offer to you, O Lord. Amen

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, May 24, 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2020/05/24?version=NIV

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Read all of Romans 12

Listen to Romans 12

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 24 de mayo de 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2020/05/24

Dios nos ayuda

El Señor mismo marchará al frente de ti y estará contigo; nunca te dejará ni te abandonará. No temas ni te desanimes.
Hoy vamos a pedirle a Dios que nos ayude a ser mujeres y hombres sencillos que vivamos nuestra vida de acuerdo con su voluntad.

Sabemos que no podemos esperar más de los demás cuando no caminamos una milla extra. También sabemos que hay excepciones en esto de las oportunidades, ya que no le vas a dar la oportunidad a una persona que representa un peligro para ti o los tuyos y que hay situaciones en las que debemos soltarnos en las manos de Dios.

Si eres víctima de maltratos, violaciones, ofensas o chantajes, o a tus hijos los maltratan y sufren el abuso que pone en peligro sus vidas, es urgente que vayas en busca de ayuda.

Rompe el silencio y sal de ese círculo dañino porque Dios no te quiere ver de ese modo. Ante todo, tú eres un hijo de Dios. Por eso es tan importante tener un consejero o una persona que te escuche y te pueda ayudar a salir adelante en cualquier situación.

La buena noticia es que, en medio de cualquier tribulación, Dios nos ayudará.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Hoy vamos a pedirle a Dios que nos ayude a ser mujeres y hombres sencillos que vivamos nuestra vida de acuerdo con su voluntad.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, May 24, 2020

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2020/05/24
ANSWER TO VIOLENCE

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:7 (NIV)

“Get dressed and come along, we have a traitor we are going to necklace. We have a tire, a bottle of petrol and matches.” The group of angry youths at the door did not even give their South African youth leader, Julia, a chance to protest.

Julia’s parents were Christians who tried to raise her in the ways of the Lord. She rebelled at an early age and mixed with bad friends, abused drink and drugs, and married a man who deserted her. As a single parent, she did her utmost to find a job, but work and food were scarce.

Julia joined a political party and participated in every gathering in her neighborhood. Violence, she thought, is the only solution to the country’s and her own problems. She was soon chosen as the leader of a large group of young people who made their presence known in the streets.

Nevertheless, Julia’s problems were not solved. Every day was one long struggle to keep body and soul together, to find employment, and to care for her child. One day, things became too much. She realized that no person could help. “Lord,” she prayed in the dark, “if You truly are there, as my parents maintain You are, You must help me now.”

The Lord answered her prayer. He laid His hand on this young woman and changed her life. She would never again be alone without her Heavenly Father who cares for her by her side. After her repentance, she spent much time pondering and praying about her political aspirations and how she would handle her youth group.

That morning with the youths at her door, Julia got dressed and accompanied them to the man they wanted to execute by necklacing. Julia says, “I did not say anything. All that I could do was to pray and ask the Lord, ‘What must I do now?’

“Fortunately it wasn’t long before I got an answer from the Lord. I scraped all my courage together, looked at my comrades, and said, ‘If there is one of you who has never made a mistake, who is not a “sell-out,” let him fasten the tire around the man’s neck, let him set it alight.’

“Not a single one of the young people had an answer. One by one they silently parted and left me with the man who was to have been executed. I asked him to help me to carry away the tire and the rest of the things. I never saw him again.

“I must admit, I was quite afraid that the young people would return to burn down my house. However, God is great and wonderful because nothing happened. I am still their leader.”

RESPONSE: Today I will be bold to live like Jesus when facing difficult situations.

PRAYER: Pray for young people caught in Satan’s lie that violence is the solution to their problems.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - May 24, 2020 - "Son of God, Eternal Savior"

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20200524

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Son of God, Eternal Savior"

May 24, 2020

♫ "Son of God, eternal Savior, Source of life and truth and grace, Word made flesh, whose birth among us Hallows all our human race, You our Head, who, throned in glory, For Your own will ever plead; Fill us with Your love and pity, Heal our wrongs, and help our need.

"Come, O Christ, and reign among us, King of love and Prince of Peace; Hush the storm of strife and passion, Bid its cruel discords cease. By Your patient years of toiling, By Your silent hours of pain, Quench our fevered thirst of pleasure, Stem our selfish greed of gain." ♫

"Hush the storms of strife and passion, bid its cruel discords cease." There is no lack of strife and discord in our world. People have their own solutions to resolve the storms that invade homes and lives. Self-help books offer useful ideas and encouragement. Some people may experiment with more aggressive answers and try to dominate the opposition, perhaps on social media, or worse, in physical conflict. Yet no single solution can entirely, successfully, "quench our fevered thirst of pleasure" and "stem our selfish greed of gain," attitudes and behaviors that are evidence of our sinful nature. There is only one Person who can still the storms, and we pray that Christ would come and reign among us with the peace that He alone can bring.

Jesus Christ was born among us, the Word made flesh, a member of our human race. Throughout His "patient years of toiling," He healed the sick and proclaimed the kingdom of God, a kingdom of peace that only the Prince of Peace can bring. He hushed storms of wind and water and ministered to those around Him with love and pity. And when those few patient years of toiling were done, He took onto Himself our thirst for pleasure, our selfish greed, and our cruel discord and carried those sins in His own body to the cross. There through "silent hours of pain," He suffered the penalty of death that was God's just judgment against sin. Now the crucified and risen Lord, enthroned in glory, ceaselessly pleads for us as our "advocate with the Father" (1 John 2:1b).

Through the suffering, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son, God reconciled this striving, discordant world to Himself. Now we are ambassadors of reconciliation, carrying His Good News to the world. We know the answer to the world's selfish striving, and His Name is Jesus. Only through faith in Jesus Christ will our wrongs be healed; only in Him will our world have peace and find help in every need.

"Come, O Christ, and reign among us!" On the Last Day, our Lord will come again, and we will live in His presence for all eternity. Until that day, we pray that more and more people will—through faith in Jesus—cease their striving and find peace in the Prince of Peace.

THE PRAYER: Son of God, eternal Savior, we pray that You will reign over us in love and lead us to cease our striving, selfish ways. Amen

Reflection Questions:
1. How do you handle conflict?

2. When your world heats up, what parts of the Bible bring you peace and comfort?

3. As a Christian, do you consider yourself an "ambassador," one carrying a message to others?
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Son of God, Eternal Savior." Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
How do you handle conflict?

Unser Täglich Brot - Gesprächstische

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2020/05/24/gespr%c3%a4chstische/

Gesprächstische

Lesung: Apostelgeschichte 2,42-47 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: 1. Chronik 22-24; Johannes 8,28-59

Gemeinsam beteten sie täglich im Tempel zu Gott.

Einsamkeit ist einer der größten Risikofaktoren für unser Wohlbefinden. Sie beeinflusst unsere Gesundheit durch unser soziales Verhalten, durch unsere Ernährungsgewohnheiten und ähnliches. Eine Studie besagt, dass fast zwei Drittel aller Menschen—unabhängig von Alter oder Geschlecht—sich zumindest zeitweise einsam fühlen. Ein Supermarkt hat deshalb in seinen Coffeeshops „Gesprächstische“ gekennzeichnet, um Kontakte zu schaffen. Wer sich unterhalten will, setzt sich an einen dieser Tische zu anderen, die sich freuen, wenn jemand dazukommt. Es entstehen Gespräche und ein Gefühl von Gemeinschaft und Verbundenheit.

Den Menschen der ersten Gemeinde lag sehr viel an Gemeinschaft. Ohne einander hätten sie sich bei der Ausübung ihres neuen Glaubens wohl ziemlich allein gefühlt. Sie „unterstellten sich [nicht nur] der Lehre der Apostel“. So lernten sie, was Jesus nachfolgen bedeutet. Sie beteten „gemeinsam täglich im Tempel zu Gott“ und „nahmen gemeinsam die Mahlzeiten ein“, um Gemeinschaft zu haben und einander zu ermutigen (Apg. 2,42.46).

Wir brauchen den Kontakt zu anderen, Gott hat uns so erschaffen! Zeiten schmerzlichen Alleinseins weisen auf dieses Bedürfnis hin. Für uns ist es genauso wichtig wie für die ersten Christen, dass wir die menschliche Nähe suchen, die für unser Wohlbefinden nötig ist, und sie anderen bieten, die sie ebenfalls brauchen.
Wie kannst du heute ganz bewusst mit einem anderen Kontakt aufnehmen? Wo übersiehst du eventuell Möglichkeiten, neue Freundschaften zu knüpfen?
Herr, hilf uns, um unsertwillen und der anderen willen Kontakte zu suchen und zu pflegen.


© 2020 Unser Täglich Brot
Einsamkeit ist einer der größten Risikofaktoren für unser Wohlbefinden.