DISCOVER MORE : TOGETHER

Christian faith is best encountered together in community, and Lent is a traditional time for us to give an extra focus to our faith; and the faith of others in our church community. Join in one of our daily small groups, either in-person or on-line, to walk the journey towards Easter together.


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    Together in Community


    Check in with one another. If there are 6 or more in the group, then share high’s and low’s in small groups of 2 or 3.

    • If there is a new person, welcome them and introduce group members.
    • (High) Share something good or eventful that you give thanks and praise for?


    Open in Prayer


    We thank you God for bringing us together. We give thanks and praise for the good gifts you have given us. For the concerns and challenges we experience, help us to give them to you in the confidence of your loving care for us. In our sharing and listening, open us to your presence. Amen. 


    5 Minutes with God—Spiritual Practice

    (Optional)


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.


    Discover Scripture and Life


    Introduction: A vision compels Paul to move his ministry into Greece. There he meets Lydia, an important person in the business community, whose heart has been opened by God to receive the gospel. Her conversion and baptism provide the impetus for the founding of the church at Philippi.


    Acts 16:6-15

    6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.



    9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.



    11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us.



    Opening Discovery

    1. How do you normally deal with frustrations? Do you keep at it? Find another way? Stop? Or get frustrated?
    2. What is an experience where a failure or a disappointment turned out ultimately for the better? What happened?
    More about the Scripture
    1. In Acts, the Holy Spirit of God is seen as playing an active role in the course of events, both in leading and preventing or hindering. A more natural explanation could be provided, so what is Acts saying when it is God who is the actor?

    2. Dreams play an important role here. It is through a dream that Paul is inspired to go to Greece, to spread the church to Europe. What other notable dreams are in the Bible. Have you ever had a dream or day dream which you have seen as an insight from God? 

    3. Paul has to be quite flexible in these verses, all the way to meeting Lydia. He is making it up as he goes. Normally he went to synagogue, but there was none, so he went to the river. Normally he spoke with men, here it is a woman. Are you one who goes by the book or can you make it up, adjust, on the fly? 

    4. What do you make of Lydia’s career and conversion? What is noteworthy? 

    More about Life
    1. How do you experience God as active in your life? Through events? Dreams? People? Do you every think “God put this person/event into my life?” 
    2. Lydia opened her door to Paul. Where do you have an “open door” for ministry now: In your home, school, work community, church? How will you take advantage of that?
    Together in Prayer
    1. As you look to the coming week, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling.
    2. Do you have any prayer concern that you would like to share? What is it?

    Closing Prayer

    Pray for the concerns shared in the group. Close in the Lord’s Prayer.

    You may also use this prayer.

    O God, we thank you for this time we have shared. We bring before you the joys and concerns of our heart. We pray especially for….. Grant us your healing and peace, in Jesus name. Amen.


    Lord’s Prayer

    Lord remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

  • Print

    Together in Community

    • If there is a new person, welcome them and introduce group members.

    Discover Scripture and Life


    Introduction: A vision compels Paul to move his ministry into Greece. There he meets Lydia, an important person in the business community, whose heart has been opened by God to receive the gospel. Her conversion and baptism provide the impetus for the founding of the church at Philippi.


    Acts 16:6-15

    6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.



    9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.



    11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us.



    Question—Choose 1 (If there are 6 or more in the group, breakout in groups of 2 or 3.)

      1. What is an experience where a failure or a disappointment turned out ultimately for the better? What happened?
      2. Paul has to be quite flexible in these verses, all the way to meeting Lydia. He is making it up as he goes. Normally he went to synagogue, but there was none, so he went to the river. Normally he spoke with men, here it is a woman. Are you one who goes by the book or can you make it up, adjust, on the fly? 
      3. How do you experience God as active in your life? Through events? Dreams? People? Do you every think “God put this person/event into my life?”


    Together in Prayer


    Connect with one another before prayer. Choose one of these options.


    Option 1: One word—As you reflect about your day, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling.


    Option 2—Share High’s and Low’s—If there are 6 or more in the group, then share high’s and low’s in small groups of 2 or 3.


    Prayer—We thank you God for bringing us together. We give thanks and praise for the good gifts you have given us. For the concerns and challenges we experience, help us to give them to you in the confidence of your loving care for us. In our sharing and listening, open us to your presence. Amen.


    Lord’s Prayer—Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


  • Print

    Discover Scripture and Life

    Introduction: A vision compels Paul to move his ministry into Greece. There he meets Lydia, an important person in the business community, whose heart has been opened by God to receive the gospel. Her conversion and baptism provide the impetus for the founding of the church at Philippi.


    Acts 16:6-15

    6They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; 8so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.


    9During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.


    11We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. 13On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home." And she prevailed upon us.


    Questions for Reflection

    1. What is an experience where a failure or a disappointment turned out ultimately for the better? What happened?
    2. Paul has to be quite flexible in these verses, all the way to meeting Lydia. He is making it up as he goes. Normally he went to synagogue, but there was none, so he went to the river. Normally he spoke with men, here it is a woman. Are you one who goes by the book or can you make it up, adjust, on the fly? 
    3. How do you experience God as active in your life? Through events? Dreams? People? Do you every think “God put this person/event into my life?”

    Discover More about the Message


    Reflect on the message you heard in person or on-line. You can listen to the message online here.

    https://firstlutherancr.org/resources/sermons

    1. What is something you heard that was interesting or engaging?
    2. Is there anything that raised a question or needed more explanation?
    3. What is one thing you take with you? It may be something to do, something to trust, or a wisdom of insight to have.

    Together with God in Prayer


    OPTION 1—ONE WORD. Take time to reflect about your day, your concerns, and how God may be speaking to you. As you reflect about your day, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling? What might God be saying to you in this word?


    OPTION 2: Reflect on the past 24 hours


    Step 1: Ask God to calm your self and help you see your life from God’s perspective.


    Step 2: Review the last 24 hours. What happened? What stands out? What captures your attention? What is a

    High and Low of this time? When did you experience God’s presence? When did you feel apart or distant from God?


    Step 3: Give your day to God your day. Ask for forgiveness where needed. Give thanks.


    Step 4: Look forward. How might you be more loving this day? What is God calling you to do?


    Prayer—Who or What can you pray for today?


    Close in the Lord’s Prayer—Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


    Five Minutes with God


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.

  • Five Minutes with God


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.

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  • Print

    Together in Community

    Check in with one another. If there are 6 or more in the group, then share high’s and low’s in small groups of 2 or 3.

    • If there is a new person, welcome them and introduce group members.
    • (High) Share something good or eventful that you give thanks and praise for?

    Open in Prayer
    We thank you God for bringing us together. We give thanks and praise for the good gifts you have given us. For the concerns and challenges we experience, help us to give them to you in the confidence of your loving care for us. In our sharing and listening, open us to your presence. Amen. 

    5 Minutes with God—Spiritual Practice
    (Optional)


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.



    Discover Scripture and Life


    Acts 11:1-18

    1Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”



    John 13:31-35

    31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


    Opening Discovery

    1. What was the wrong crowd to hand out with when you were in school? Did you anyway?
    2. What is the most unusual food you have eaten?


    More about the Scripture

    1. Why was it a problem for some that Peter welcomed the uncircumcised and ate with them? What seems to be at stake?
    2. Where and How does God show up in the story? For Peter? For the Gentiles?
    3. Of what importance is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s argument? Why would this have such a strong effect on the Jerusalem believers? (What would the experience of Pentecost have to say about this?
    4. How do you explain the change in attitudes from verse 2 to verse 18?
    5. In Acts 1:3, Jesus says—you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” How dies this story relate to these words?
    6. How do the plans of God and plans of the church diverge in this story? What would have happened if Peter had backed off?


    Responding to the Weekly Message

    You can connect with the weekly message https://firstlutherancr.org/resources/sermons

    1. What did you take away from the message? What will stay with you this week?
    2. Is there anything that raised a question or needed more explanation?


    More about Life

    1. Who is someone in your life who has an ability to reach out or include people who are very different from them? How so?
    2. How have you changed over the years by giving up old established traditions for the sake of something more, or a greater inclusion?


    Together in Prayer

    1. As you look to the coming week, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling.
    2. Do you have any prayer concern that you would like to share? What is it?

    Closing Prayer

    Pray for the concerns shared in the group. Close in the Lord’s Prayer.

    You may also use this prayer.

    O God, we thank you for this time we have shared. We bring before you the joys and concerns of our heart. We pray especially for….. Grant us your healing and peace, in Jesus name. Amen.


    Lord’s Prayer

    Lord remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


  • Print

    Together in Community

    • If there is a new person, welcome them and introduce group members.

    Discover Scripture and Life


    Acts 11:1-18

    1Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”



    John 13:31-35

    31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”



    Question—Choose 1 (If there are 6 or more in the group, breakout in groups of 2 or 3.)

      1. What was the wrong crowd to hang out with when you were in school? Did you anyway?
      2. Why was it a problem for some that Peter welcomed the uncircumcised and ate with them? What seems to be at stake?
      3. Of what importance is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s argument? Why would this have such a strong effect on the Jerusalem believers? What would the experience of Pentecost have to say about this?
      4. How have you changed over the years by giving up old established traditions for the sake of something more, or a greater inclusion? 

    Together in Prayer

    Connect with one another before prayer. Choose one of these options.


    Option 1: One word—As you reflect about your day, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling.


    Option 2—Share High’s and Low’s

    (If there are 6 or more in the group, then share high’s and low’s in small groups of 2 or 3.)


    Prayer—We thank you God for bringing us together. We give thanks and praise for the good gifts you have given us. For the concerns and challenges we experience, help us to give them to you in the confidence of your loving care for us. In our sharing and listening, open us to your presence. Amen.


    Lord’s Prayer—Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.


  • Print

    Discover Scripture and Life


    Acts 11:1-18

    1Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, 3saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, 5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. 6As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ 10This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. 11At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. 12The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; 14he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 15And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. 16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” 18When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”


    John 13:31-35

    31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


    Questions for Reflection

    1. What was the wrong crowd to hang out with when you were in school? Did you anyway?
    2. Why was it a problem for some that Peter welcomed the uncircumcised and ate with them? What seems to be at stake?
    3. Of what importance is the gift of the Holy Spirit in Peter’s argument? Why would this have such a strong effect on the Jerusalem believers? What would the experience of Pentecost have to say about this?
    4. How have you changed over the years by giving up old established traditions for the sake of something more, or a greater inclusion? 


    Discover More about the Message

    Reflect on the message you heard in person or on-line. You can listen to the message online here.

    https://firstlutherancr.org/resources/sermons


    1. What is something you heard that was interesting or engaging?
    2. Is there anything that raised a question or needed more explanation?
    3. What is one thing you take with you? It may be something to do, something to trust, or a wisdom of insight to have. 

    Together with God in Prayer


    OPTION 1—ONE WORD. Take time to reflect about your day, your concerns, and how God may be speaking to you. As you reflect about your day, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling? What might God be saying to you in this word?


    OPTION 2: Reflect on the past 24 hours


    Step 1: Ask God to calm your self and help you see your life from God’s perspective.


    Step 2: Review the last 24 hours. What happened? What stands out? What captures your attention? What is a High and Low of this time? When did you experience God’s presence? When did you feel apart or distant from God?


    Step 3: Give your day to God your day. Ask for forgiveness where needed. Give thanks.


    Step 4: Look forward. How might you be more loving this day? What is God calling you to do?


    Prayer—Who or What can you pray for today?


    Close in the Lord’s Prayer—Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.



    Five Minutes with God


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.


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    Five Minutes with God


    Introduction. The first followers of Jesus had what they believed to be good reasons for staying away from people with different bodies who ate different foods. Having lived under a legal system that made very definite distinctions between people, “staying away” was a spiritual practice for them. However, the Spirit who guided their new faith in Jesus had a new way of life in mind: What God has made clean, you must not call profane; do not make a distinction between you and others.  


    Spiritual Practice. We still make distinctions between “us” and “them,” and the Spirit continues to say: do not make a distinction between you and others. This week pay attention to the times you label others as they or them (or however you label others as unfavorably different than you). Allow these times to be a signal for you to stop, spend a moment with the Spirit, and discern how and why you are making that distinction. As you grow in Spirit-filled awareness, you will grow a Spirit-filled attitude towards others. Then watch how the Spirit surprises you with fellowship (and perhaps foods!) you never imagined possible.



FIVE MINUTES WITH GOD

WEEK OF MAY 8, 2022

INTRODUCTION: Do you need a shepherd? If you listen to Jesus, the answer is a big YES! John 10 gives us a lot of reasons why we need the Good Shepherd. This week’s reading sums these up. First, we are in a relationship where we listen to Jesus and are listened to, and where we are lovingly known. As we listen, we have guidance on how to live as we follow our Shepherd. We have life that this full and eternal. All this is for keeps because we are safe in the Shepherd’s care.


SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: This week’s practice is the gratitude we have as listening sheep! At the end of each day, write down all the times you “heard” the Shepherd. Here are some ideas of ways might hear Jesus beyond just with your ears: music, reading the bible, a friend’s words, birdsong, laughter, the sunrise, smelling fresh flowers, tasting your favorite food, and so much more. After you write each day’s list, give thanks for these “words” from Jesus. You don’t have to find some hidden meaning in them. Just enjoy the multitude of ways your Shepherd speaks to you.