Rustin Smith continues a conversation with Jon Bowles (pastor, Beggars Table) about the sixth word of Jesus from the cross: "It is finished." Enjoy the conversation, then return to this page for prayers and a discussion guide for your group or personal use.
Christ died for all, in order that they who are alive may live no longer for themselves but for him who died for them and rose again. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
I ask your prayers of thanksgiving, giving God praise and glory for all good things that have come from God into our lives. Let us give thanks.
If, then, any are in Christ, they are a new creation; the former things have passed away: behold, they are made new. For God, who commanded light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts, to give enlightenment concerning the knowledge of the glory of God, shining on the face of Christ Jesus.
I ask your prayers for those in your life who walk apart from a connection to God or the church. Let us lift up the names of those we carry in our hearts to God’s care. (Say names aloud).
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk, then, as children of light, for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth, and test what is well pleasing to God.
I invite your prayers of repentance. To admit what hurts, what you have participated in that takes you or others away from the love of God. Let us confess our sin, by what we have done and by what we have left undone, entrusting our true selves to God’s mercy.
For if we live, we live to the Lord, or if we die, we die to the Lord. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. You were buried together with Christ in baptism, and in him also you rose again through faith in the working of God who raised him from the dead. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. “Death is swallowed up in victory! O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—based on Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 15:54-55; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 5:15, 17; Ephesians 5:8-10; Colossians 2:12
Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.
Father, you are an abundant giver.
There is nothing that I have that you have not given me.
The way of your kingdom is the way of generosity.
Help me to honor you with my resources.
Free me from the deceit of riches.
Lead me on the path of generosity.
For your glory, Lord, for the abundance of my own life and for the sake of others.
Before you read or pray, take some slow deep breaths. Remember God breathed life into humans.
Reflect on John 19:30, receptive to God. Pay attention to what stands out to you.
Meditate on Christ’s words: “It is finished.” What is (or feels) unfinished in your life right now?
What stuck with you from the video conversation? Why?
How do you think about the relationship between who you are and what you do?
In what way is our ‘work’ important?
Read John 17:4 and John 13:1. How do these reveal Jesus’s sense of his “work.”
Discuss: “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” - Sydney Harris
What comes to mind when you are challenged by the story of Rabbi Zusya? What would it mean for 'you' to be 'you' faithfully before God?
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