Fellowship

 

The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:42-47 (CEB)

“The Christian life flourishes in community. Corporate worship, study, fellowship, and action are the soil in which authentic faith takes root and grows toward maturity. . . .

Worship is one of the most profound experiences of life for humankind. For Christians, gathered around the Lord’s Table, the baptismal font, and the scriptures are essential elements of an authentic life or worship. The congregation where scripture, liturgy, music, persons in quest of communion with God, and spirit-filled leadership come together will provide nurture and sustenance to all who experience its life.” ~From Spiritual Life in the Congregation by Ruben P. Job

Heavenly father, help me to live an authentic life. I thank You today that You see me for more than I am. I thank You for the Christians you have placed in my life. Help the seeds of maturity find good soil to grow. Amen.

Advertisements

Invitation

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. ~Rev. 3:20 (CEB)

“Maybe we are not used to thinking about the Eucharist as an invitation to Jesus to stay with us. We are more inclined to think about Jesus inviting us to his house, his table, his meal. But Jesus wants to be invited. Without an invitation he will go on to other places. It is very important to realize that Jesus never forces himself on us. Unless we invite him, he will always remain a stranger, possibly a very attractive intelligent stranger with whom we had an interesting conversation, but a stranger nevertheless.” ~From With Burning Hearts by Henri J. M. Nouwen

May I hear You knocking this day O Lord. May I remember to slow down and invite You in. I do not to walk life’s journey without You. Please walk along with me this day. Amen.

Taken, blessed, broken and given

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26 (CEB)

“To identify the movements of the Spirit in our lives, I have found it helpful to use four words: taken, blessed, broken, and given. These words summarize my life as a priest because each day, when I come together around the table with members of my community, I take bread, bless it, break it, and give it. These words also summarize my life as a Christian because, as a Christian, I am called to become bread for the world: bread that is taken, blessed, broken and given. Most importantly, however, they summarize my life as a human being because in every moment of my life somewhere, somehow the taking, the blessing, the breaking and the giving are happening.

I must tell you at this point that these four words have become the most important words of my life. Only gradually has their meaning become known to me, and I feel that I won’t ever know their full profundity. They are the most personal as well as the most universal words. They express the most spiritual as well as the most secular truth. They speak about the most divine as well as the most human behavior. They reach high as well as low, embrace God as well as all people. They succinctly express the complexity of life and embrace its ever-unfolding mystery. They are the keys to understanding not only the lives of the great prophets of Israel and the life of Jesus of Nazareth, but also our own lives. I have chosen them not only because they are so deeply engraved in my being, but also because, through them, I have some into touch with the ways of becoming the Beloved of God.” ~From Life of the Beloved by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Help me this day O Lord, to become the bread for the world. May I be a blessing to someone that I meet along the journey this day. May I remember to be a blessing I must give of myself and that I do this all for Your glory. Amen.

Invitation

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. ~Luke 22:14-23 (CEB)

“I have always been intrigued with Luke’s choice of words as he describes the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the eve before his suffering and death (Luke 22:14-23). According to Luke, Jesus said that he ‘eagerly’ desired to share the meal with the disciples. Could it be that he needed to be with those closest to him as they affirmed God’s presence and plan for him and the disciples? To spend quality time with those we love is a wonderful gift of healing and strength to all of us, and Jesus deserved this holy fellowship for comfort and strength.

Of did Jesus want to say something more to the disciples? He did declare again that it was his last meal until the kingdom of God would fully arrive. He did tell them that he was providing a new covenant for them and for the world. And perhaps most significantly, he told them by words and acts that his life and theirs were cradled and safely sheltered in God’s care.

Today Jesus invites you and me to come to the table. We are now invited to sit with Jesus, to listen to him speak to us, teach us, and bless us. In holy time and holy place he reminds us once again that his body is given for us and that his blood is poured out for us. What good news it is that the sacrifice of his life replaces the darkness of my life with the purity and light of his own.

Perhaps you are not able literally to be at the table with Jesus every day. But in your time of prayer as in your time of work and leisure you can remember that Jesus eagerly desires to be with you. And wherever you are, you may hear his words, ‘I have eagerly desired this time with you,’ and then accept his invitation to holy fellowship.” ~A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Rueben P Job

Dear Jesus, I thank You today that You desire to be with me. Despite my sins You have sought me out. You loved me knowing all I had done… and knowing all that I would still do. Help me to be in the holy time with You. May I give of myself completely as You have given me all of You. Amen.

For God’s glory

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. ~Matt. 6:24 (CEB)

“The Christian Gospels do not encourage anyone to believe that he or she can choose both the palace and the lotus: both mammon and God (Matt. 6:24). The Gospels are for men and women of free hearts and free wills who must decide for themselves as to where they will bestow their love and allegiance. The Gospels give few particulars as to conduct and choices; they give, rather, the basic principles that each person must apply for him or herself. They only lay the pruning saw at the foot of the tree. The Gospels confront us with the One who pierces us by his bottomless love and caring. One who compels us to decide for ourselves what in our lives is congruous with his love.” ~From Dimensions of Prayer by Douglas V. Steere

Almighty God, help me to keep my eyes on You as I go about my day today. Help me to remember that it is not about me, that it is all ultimately for Your glory. May the choices I make and the work that I do reflect Your love in all I do. Amen.

Of service

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ 1 Cor. 1:9 (CEB)

“Jesus was broken on the cross. He lived his suffering and death not as an evil to avoid at all costs but as a mission to embrace. We too are broken. We live with broken bodies, broken hearts, broken minds, or broken spirits. We suffer from broken relationships.

How can we live our brokenness? Jesus invites us to embrace our brokenness as he embraced the cross and live it as part of our mission. He asks us not to reject our brokenness as a curse from God that reminds us of our sinfulness but to accept it and put it under God’s blessing for our purification and sanctification. This, our brokenness can become a gateway to new life.” ~From Bread for the Journey by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Heavenly Father, help me this day to live courageously. Help me to not run from where I have been but to embrace who I have become through trials and mistakes. May the pain I have endured be a blessing to someone today. May I use it all for Your glory. Amen.

All for your glory

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ 1 Cor. 1:9 (CEB)

“Jesus was broken on the cross. He lived his suffering and death not as an evil to avoid at all costs but as a mission to embrace. We too are broken. We live with broken bodies, broken hearts, broken minds, or broken spirits. We suffer from broken relationships.

How can we live our brokenness? Jesus invites us to embrace our brokenness as he embraced the cross and live it as part of our mission. He asks us not to reject our brokenness as a curse from God that reminds us of our sinfulness but to accept it and put it under God’s blessing for our purification and sanctification. This, our brokenness can become a gateway to new life.” ~From Bread for the Journey by Henri J. M. Nouwen

Heavenly Father, help me this day to live courageously. Help me to not run from where I have been but to embrace who I have become through trials and mistakes. May the pain I have endured be a blessing to someone today. May I use it all for Your glory. Amen.

Previous Older Entries