Archives for posts with tag: grace

Scripture

Matthew 26:  17 -19download

17 On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'”

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

 

Reflection

The scene of the last supper is of course a Passover meal.  It reminds us again that Jesus was a Jew as were all the disciples.   It also recalls the Exodus of the Israelites who, at God’s command, smeared the blood of a lamb over the archways and lintel posts of their doors so that the angel of death would pass over their homes and only afflict the houses of the Egyptians.

This Jesus of ours will be similarly sacrificed so that the angel of death will pass over again, so that in Christ Jesus, we may know life eternal.

 

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Would that we could smear some lamb’s blood on our lintel posts today to protect us from the threats and dangers of our world.   Would that we could know that the angel of death would just pass over us.   Help us to trust that in You, we find all our security, all of strength, all our comfort, all our refuge, all our freedom, all our life.

Amen

 

 

Scripture

Matthew 26: 14 -16images (3)

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?”

They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

 

Reflection

We all like Judas.   It’s always a relief to have someone in the picture who’s the bad guy, someone to blame.

But in a sense Judas is just a stand-in for the rest of us.   What’s your price to betray Jesus?   Those temptations roll in each day, seducing us in different ways.   It may be good ‘ol hard cash.  It might be the lure of moving up some social or corporate ladder.  Or it might be something else that captures your fancy — you can fill in the blank.  Our betrayals may be big or small.  Obvious or covert.   Intentional or careless.

The saving grace?   Just that.

 

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Forgive me for having betrayed you yesterday.

Forgive me for any ways that I might betray you today.

Fix in my heart the intention to follow your path, to love you and neighbor, and to glorify your name.  And then give me the strength to follow through.

Amen

pcusa sealOver the past couple weeks, people in our church have been filling  out their “Presbyterian Brackets” to determine which aspects of being Presbyterian mean most to us as a community of faith!  It’s a fun, if not somewhat impossible exercise to pick between treasured elements of our Christian tradition and practice.  That said, we’re down to the Elite Eight!   (Go to our homepage at www.brpcraytown.org to download a blank bracket or the Elite Eight.)    The 4 key matchups going into this weekend are:

Sacraments vs. the Priesthood of all believers

Polity vs. Worshipswish

Stewardship vs. the Sovereignty of God

Grace vs. Resurrection

These are TOUGH match ups.  Will there be any upsets?  Which elements of the faith are YOU rooting for??    I’ll report on the Final Four and championship outcomes in the coming 2 weeks.  Hold onto your hats!  🙂

 

swishI want to invite you to fill out a bracket!

If you’re a sports fan, you may have participated in the fun of picking games in the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament which is entering the homestretch.  For those who completed a bracket, you know that making some of those choices can be a challenge — such as Michigan vs. KU or  Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast University (would you believe I had THAT one?  I wish!)

pcusa sealAt our church, we are in the process of concluding our confirmation class.  As part of that, we created a Presbyterian Bracket in which our confirmands and adult leaders had to pick among 16 elements of being Presbyterian through 4 rounds.   It’s tough to pick some of the matchups — the Bible vs. worship, serving God vs. grace, sacraments vs. being reformed.   We are inviting our congregation to fill out brackets too and over the next four weeks I’ll post which elements make it into the elite 8, the final 4 and then the championship game!

Of course there’s no way to really say which element is “better” than another.  But it’s a fun way to examine the content and practice of our faith.

I’d love to hear what faith elements YOU would pick to go to the Final Four and win it all!  What would your youth group, Sunday School class or family say?   To download the bracket, go to www.brpcraytown.org and click on “Presbyterian Picks” on the left side under “Upcoming Events.”

Good luck!!!