This week, Jon Bowles (Beggars Table Church) and Rustin Smith have a conversation about the fifth thing Jesus said while hanging on the cross. Enjoy the video then return to this page to find prayers and a discussion guide below.
Ashes have been smeared and sins have been confessed…
These times, they are troubling. This journey, it is hard…
It is God who sustains, not the temptations of this world…
In the Lord is our trust, our protection from harm…
Come, let us worship the One whom we serve…
Leader: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Response: Peace in Heaven, and glory in the highest!
All: Merciful God,
we confess that we have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what we have done,
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you
with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
In your mercy forgive what we have been,
help us amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be,
so that we may delight in your will
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your holy name.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Leader: I ask your prayers, either silently or aloud. Please make your requests known to God.
Leader: 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.
Since God is faithful and gracious, patient and forgiving, let us forgive one another.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Let us turn those around us and extend peace.
Jesus said reminded us that all the earth is God’s when he said freely you have received, so freely give. So let us pray:
Lord God, we bless you for all your many gifts to us. We return these gifts as a token of our gratitude, longing for the conviction and strength to offer our whole lives to your service.
We pray especially today for your blessing on [all who lead and volunteer in our church, and beyond among our ministry partners, for whom these gifts are designated. Grant them the wisdom and discernment to be good stewards of these gifts. We pray that they will be encouraged in their work, and that their ministry may bear rich fruit in your kingdom. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
In our series, Seven Words, we are looking at the seven times Jesus speaks from the cross. So far, we have looked at: 1. Forgive, 2. Paradise, 3. Behold, 4. Why, and this week, 5. Thirst.
Read John 19:28-29
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.
What stands out to you from this reading?
What stuck with you from this week’s conversation? Why?
Read 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Why do you think of the ideas that weakness and power are not opposites on a continuum, but that real power is found in weakness?
Shame is a shadow of death. Shame is the dissonance between the image I find my identity in and who I really am. When we are exposed as being something less than we hope to be, we might feel shame. Jon and Rustin shared stories about experiencing shame. Do you have your own stories to share?
Rustin named four occasions where Jesus was shamed by others (the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), Peter (Matthew 16;23, Pontius Pilate (John 18:23-40), and the criminal on the cross (Luke 23:39). How does Jesus respond to each of these invitations to shame?
Are we uncomfortable with the idea of Jesus needing something he cannot do for himself? Why?
Think about your most cherished relationships where real vulnerability is practiced. Do you agree that mutual giving and receiving is what makes good friendships? How does God invite us into this kind of mutual relationship?
Take some time to pray for one another and for any need, great or small.
Go with a blessing:
As you have been fed at this table, go to feed the hungry.
As you have been set free, go to set free the imprisoned.
As you have received, give.
As you have heard, proclaim.
And the blessing that you have received
from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
be always with you. Amen.
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