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
INTRODUCTION: When we die, there is a Death Announcement, an obituary that lists our accomplishments and celebrates who we were. As those who have been baptized into Jesus and his death, we don’t want to just look back at who we have been but forward to who we now are and will be. We want to celebrate our walk in the newness of life that is both a present reality of freedom as we continue to physically live and a promise of eternal life when we physically die.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Write a Resurrection Announcement for yourself this week. Try not to focus on your accomplishments, but God’s. Who are you now because you were baptized into Jesus death and buried with him? Who will you be because you are united with Jesus in resurrection life?
Discover Scripture and Life
Introduction: The profession of faith includes questions of no and yes, questions of rejection and acceptance. No to all that opposes God, and yes to God’s work in Christ. Only by God’s grace can we renounce the forces of evil and the power of sin. With the whole church, we confess our faith in the triune God. The verses from Romans look especially to 2nd paragraph of the creed and the work Christ did for us on the cross. As Paul says we were baptized into Christ’s death, and therefore given new life.
Scripture for Week
From the Baptism Liturgy:
“Apostle’s Creed” p. 229 ELW
I ask you to profess
your faith in Christ Jesus, reject sin, and confess the faith of the church.
Do you renounce the
devil and all the forces that defy God, the powers of this world that rebel
against God, and the ways of sin that draw you from God? Response: I renounce
Do you believe in God
I believe in God, the
Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the son of
I believe in Jesus
Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of
the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was
buried; he descended to the dead. 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 to
judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe in God
the Holy Spirit?
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.
then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By
no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not
know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into
his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into
death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been
united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a
resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with
him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be
enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin.
1. What temptations are easy for you to say no to? What temptations are more difficult to say no to?
2. What are some of the big “yes’s” you have spoken in life? Yes to a job offer? Yes to an engagement? Yes to something else?
More about the Scripture
1. Take a 2nd look at the content of the creed about Father, Son, Spirit. What does God do for us?
Or to put it in another way.
a. What difference does it mean to say that God created you?
b. What difference does Jesus, the son of God make for you?
c. What does God do through the Spirit? (Hint: It’s each of the items listed) Which ones speak most to you? Least?
2. Which person of the Trinity speaks most to you?
How big is God’s grace? One objection the apostle Paul faced was that someone might say, “If God forgives, then give him more sin to forgive. I don’t have to be good, I don’t have to care, God will forgive.” Paul’s response is that baptism and forgiveness is about changing who we are from the inside out. God’s forgiveness is not a patch job, but a transformation that happens when we believe and trust in God.
3. How have you experienced God’s grace as something more than a patch job on sin? Something that makes a deeper difference. How so?
4. Just as Jesus was buried at death and then rose to new life on Easter, so the movement of baptism in water is being buried under water and then coming out of the water to new life. In baptism, we are joined to Jesus, to his dying and rising, so that we might experience God’s forgiveness and grace as a whole new life. How do you experience God’s forgiveness and welcome in baptism as a “whole new life?”
More about Life
1. Martin Luther described remembering your baptism as a daily dying and rising. When we confess our sin, all that is opposed to God is put to death. And in God’s forgiveness, we are given a new life. What would it mean for you to remember your baptism each day this week, and to ask: What needs to die, what do I need to let go of? And then: How do I experience forgiveness as new life today?
Together in Prayer
- As you look to the coming week, what is one word that summarizes how you are feeling.
- Do you have any prayer concern that you would like to share? What is it?
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 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.