Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 28th - 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Breaking Open the Scriptures Scriptures for July 28th: Hosea 1:2-10; Psalm 85; Colossians 2:6-19; Luke 11:1-13; Theme: staying close to Jesus is staying close to prayer; song: Close to Thee – UMH 407 Colossians: The city of Colossae was a lot like the city of Chicago. There were a lot of choices. There were a lot of churches, and a lot of competing theologies. And someone who was not grounded in Christ, would have a hard time understanding who Christ really was. Paul directs us all and reminds us that our differences should disappear, in the spirit of Christ. And the spirit of Christ should be obvious in everything that we do. Christ is the head of the universal church. And we should remember that. If we know who Christ is, then we should also be clear who we are. We are the body of Christ. We are initiated into Christ when we are baptized. Our baptism gives us all power in Christ. And we have to have our own relationship with God. If we do, then we don’t need to depend on others to define us. Let Christ and our baptism tell us all that we need to know, and always continue to grow in your relationship. Luke: Christ taught us to pray years ago, and many people are still uncomfortable with prayer. We can be grateful because Christ gave us the Lord’s Prayer. We don’t always have to come up with the words ourselves, the spirit will interpret to God what needs to be said. But God wants us to pray and to let prayer be a part of our relationship. We have to be assured that God always hears us, and gives us what we need, not what we want. He gives it to us in his time, not ours. Sometimes we think that God has betrayed our prayers, Jesus says that God will never betray us, but sometimes he does have to redirect us. There is never a bad time to pray to Christ. Prayer is an exciting relationship with God – that every Christian, every person should have. Prayer is a good exercise of our spiritual faith. Questions: Who is Christ to us? Who are we to Christ? How does our life change when we are baptized? How do we make sure Christ is the head of our lives? How is your prayer life? Do you trust in Christ in all things and in all answers to your prayers? Do you know the Lord’s Prayer? Have you been able to teach someone else? What does prayer mean to you?

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