Category Archives: Prayer

“Journey to the Cross” – Sunday School Project

The project “Journey to the Cross” was organized by Lou Hyson our Sunday School Superintendent in 2015.  For many weeks, the Sunday School Students created each of the stations on three-fold displays. On Palm Sunday after Church, all of us went to the John Boggs Hall to see the Stations of the Cross along two walls of the room. The Sunday School Students at each of the stations taught the adults what Jesus went through. Each station consisted of a reflection, a passage from the Bible, and an action or actions to take. It was a very moving experience involving all senses, along with your mind, heart, soul and spirit.


 

Station 1: Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
Luke 22:39-46
Jesus Prays on the Mount of OlivesGive Concern to JesusWe reflected on the suffering Jesus was about to experience, sensing His anguish and struggle.
Jesus says to God, “Your will be done.” He chose to go to the cross.
Is there an area of your life where you need to make a choice to love and sacrifice – even if it comes with a cost?

Write your fear or the area of your life keeping you from God’s love.
Take a red stone to remind you of Jesus’ struggle, love and sacrifice for you.


Station 2: Jesus Arrested, Betrayed By Judas
Luke 22:47-48
Jesus Betrayed By JudasReflect that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
How would you feel if one of your closest friends?
How much is your honesty worth? Would you betray a friend for money or gain?
The action was to pick up a bucket of coins, count them as you put them back.
Pray that you will never compromise your values for money or gain.
Take a chololate coin, when you taste its sweetness think about the bitterness of betrayla by a friend.


Station 3: Peter Disowns Jesus
Luke 22:54-62
Peter says I DO NOT KNOW HIMReflect on being a Christian and acknowledging Jesus in word and in your actions. This will help others who do not know him.
The most difficult action for some of us to do was to write this about Jesus:
“I do not know him!”


 

Station 4: Jesus Is Condemned To Death
Luke 23:13-25
Washing HandsReflection
The action was to wash your hands.


 

Station 5: The Guards Mock Jesus
Luke 22:63-65,
Crowned with Thorns
John 19:2-3

Guards Mock Jesus

Action was to write with a red marker and a piece of paper. This symbolized the blood Jesus shed.


 

Station 6: Jesus Takes Up The Cross
Mark 15:20, John 19:16-17

Our Crosses Jesus carried all our crosses

Contemplate the wood of the life size cross and image how heavy that is. Jesus carried that for YOU and for ME!

On the cross shaped paper, write a word of sorrow, a word of gratitude and a word of hope. Tape it to Jesus’ cross.


 

 

Station 7: Jesus Falls
Matthew 27:31-33, Mark 15:20-22, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:16-18

Jesus Falls

Between the emotional draining of prayer at Gethsemane, then being beaten, and carrying a heavy cross.  Jesus fell. How could Jesus enter our lives without surrendering to the crushing weight of the life on all on earth.

The action was to move Jesus along a path. Video to follow.


 

Station 8: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Luke 23:26

Simon the Cyrene

The Cross is a reminder that there are many times we must depend on others with humility.  We must depend on Jesus.


 

Station 9: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Luke 23:27-31

Jesus meets the Women

The women cried for Jesus, but Jesus gasped,
“Don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.”

Jesus was not looking for sympathy. He was looking for surrender.


 

Station 10: Jesus Is Crucified
Luke 23:33

Jesus Crucified

Nails

The action was to take a hammer and drive in one nail. The nail here was way smaller than the nails driven into Jesus.


 

Station 11: Jesus Promises His Kingdom To the Good Thief
Luke 23:39-43

Good Thief

Three men were being crucified.
One was sarcastically calling for salvation.
One defended Jesus as an innocent victim.
To that, Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Action: Pray.


 

Station 12: Jesus on the Cross, His Mother and His Disciple
John 19:25-27

Mother and Disciple

Jesus wanted his mother Mary to be taken care of.

 


 

Station 13: The Death of Jesus
Luke 23:44-46

Death of Jesus

Reflection light a candle, because that pierces the darkness.


 

Station 14: The Burial of Jesus
Luke 23:50-54

Jesus laid in tomb

Jesus laid in the tomb at that time seemed so final…


The whole picture.

But on the third day, JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD. HE IS ALIVE!!!

Abilities and Limitations (Acts 6:2-7)

Abilities and Limitations (Acts 6:2-7)

  • What would happen if you tried to work every hour of every day?
  • Share a time when you worked with a group of people who cooperated well together.

2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

 

These verses explain one of the ways that the believers in Acts organized their efforts. They worked together to form a system. It wasn’t chaotic. They didn’t waste energy, time or resources. They wanted to work efficiently for God.

They recognized their own abilities and their own limitations. They didn’t run around trying to do everything at once. They didn’t try to do more than they could do, and they worked hard at what they could do. As a result, the church grew, and more and more people came to know Jesus.

Believers today also need to share responsibilities. No one can do it all. And everyone should be doing something. We need to prayerfully consider where our abilities best fit into God’s work. We need to ask God to assign us to tasks that will allow us to best serve him. And as a result, the Word of God will spread.

Prayer
Dear God, please help us to know and use the abilities you have given us. Please also help us to know our own limitations. Amen.


 

From “Once-A-Day At the Table Family Devotional: 365 Daily Readings and conversation starters for your family” (2012)
Christopher D. Hudson

With Acts 6:4-6 added


 

Acts 6:1 – A concern and need was brought forth.
Acts 6:2 – Gathering in corporate prayer and raised concerns that “you can’t do it all.”
Acts 6:3 – A decision to choose workers.
Acts 6:4 – Focus on prayer.
Acts 6:5 – Cooperation and presentation of those chosen from their congregation to do the job.
Acts 6:6 – Those willing to do the job were prayed over.
Acts 6:7 – Word of God spread and obedience to faith.

You don’t have to suffer alone…

This is from the Holy Wednesday message delivered April 1, 2015 during the weekly chapel service in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill. The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church & Society, based her message on Matthew 26:14-30.

For the original article go to http://umc-gbcs.org/faith-in-action/betrayal

Betrayal
A Holy Week reflection on Matthew 2:14-16

These are deep betrayals: one by Judas, the other by Peter. Jesus had called both of them into the company of disciples/sojourners: the family. He invited the others as well. All of them were flawed human beings. None of them was particularly outstanding. They were greedy, competitive, selfish, naïve and self-absorbed.

Judas’ and Peter’s betrayals are significant: one handing Jesus to the High Priest; the other denying him; both understanding the political dangers; most likely knowing, if not fully understanding, the spiritual significance.

Judas and Peter are probably the most frightening of all the figures in the New Testament because we see ourselves in them. We are all Judas at times in our lives.
We often do not understand our own propensity for sin and betrayal until it is too late. Until the damage is done, we do not see it.

Our shadow side
Betrayal grows out of our shadow side, often out of our fears, insecurities, wounds and scars. We are wounded, hurting, rejected human beings. Every one of us is tempted to betray the unfailing love of Jesus Christ when we are afraid, lonely, wounded, broken.

It is who we are.

We do not know our motivations, nor the motivations of Judas.
Perhaps need for recognition, selfish centeredness, arrogance, pride, fear, anger.
Perhaps something for himself: power, recognition, riches — 30 pieces of silver was about four months of wages.

We do not know what brought Judas even to the point of giving over the One who loves, heals and sustains him.

And Peter: denying the love that was there for him.

Good, faithful work
Our work in this place, in this building on Capitol Hill, is almost always about addressing the wounds, the injustices and brokenness of the world. It is good and faithful work. We have a calling, a passion to right the injustices, the wrongs. We have a desire to make the world right.

There is so much pain in the world that we see daily, weekly, yearly. But it leaves each one of us so very vulnerable.

I just finished reading John Grisham’s novel Gray Mountain. I could hardly stand even to read the story about an area that I know well. It tells of the pain of the people of the region affected by mountain-top removal, poverty and the power of large companies with so much money to buy them off for so little.

Having been a chaplain, I cannot forget telling mothers and fathers of an unexpected heart attack of a son, the suicide of a daughter, a motorcycle accident in the night resulting in a call to parents in Korea, a drunken St. Patrick’s Day that never returned a child home. This is hard ministry.

Living in denial
That much sorrow can cause one to live in denial: compartmentalizing, and quietly carrying the unbearable pain.

It is very easy to forget the effect of living with pain and injustice. We forget to examine, remember the wounds and pains that got us here and keep us here. None of us is free from this woundedness and brokenness. We have all suffered too many broken promises, injured families, faltering trust, communities that hurt, sickness, love lost, damnable insecurity, the hunger for recognition.

These are days of remembering our brokenness and naming, naming our sorrow, for it will surely lead to betrayal. The heart aches, the scars, the times we were wounded, broken hearts and injured bodies. All that makes us vulnerable all the time.

There is the One
Remembering our brokenness and naming the origins that push us out into the world is part of our holy work.

There is healing work done for us. While we may be prompted by brokenness, we do not have to carry it. We can let it go. We can give it over.

There is the One who bears the unbearable, heals the sick, binds us the broken, and gives sight.

There is the One whose love will not let us go.

There is the One who holds us in embrace until the morning comes.

What is Corporate Prayer?

What is Corporate Prayer?

  1. It is a focus on our relationship with God as opposed to a vending machine approach where we pray primary to get personal things from God.
  2. We spend time telling God what we like about Him and His character.
  3. We spend time in thanking Him for what he has done in our church as a whole.
  4. Sometimes we wait in silence before Him just soaking up His manifested presence.
  5. If we ask for things, the focus is on the big picture, the progress of our church as a whole:
    • leading people to a personal relationship with Jesus,
    • making faithful disciples of converts,
    • who will in turn, train other disciples,
    • so that the world is transformed into the character of our Lord Jesus Christ.