Tuesday Morning, 26 Nov 2019, Luke 22:7-23:25 ~ Jesus’ agony of spirit

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Luke 22:7-23:25 (NLT)

The Last Supper

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”

“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked him.

He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

Then he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

“You have stayed with me in my time of trial. And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?”

“No,” they replied.

“But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”

“Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.”

“That’s enough,” he said.

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.

But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

Peter Denies Jesus

So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?” And they hurled all sorts of terrible insults at him.

Jesus before the Council

At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”

But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”

They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”

And he replied, “You say that I am.”

“Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate

Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)

Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.
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Morning Reflection:

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.
Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently,
and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
– Luke 22:42-44 –

It’s impossible for us to comprehend Jesus’ “agony of spirit” in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke tells us that during this ordeal “Jesus’ sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.”

Our reading today does put Jesus’ agony  in context, bracketing Jesus’ suffering in between “The Last Supper” and Pilate’s acquiescence to mob rule.

  • Jesus celebrated the Passover meal and instituted a new covenant sacrament with people He knew would abandon Him, one of whom would betray Him.
  • Jesus celebrated the Passover meal while listening to His companions argue over who would be greatest among them.
  • Jesus celebrated the Passover meal offering a way of repentance and restoration for Peter’s impending denials, despite his protests to the contrary.
  • In Gethsemane Jesus asked His followers to watch and pray with Him, anticipating their succumbing to the temptation to sleep.
  • In Gethsemane Jesus anticipated the horrific suffering He was about to experience, asking God to take it away, yet submitting to God’s will.
  • In Gethsemane Jesus met His betrayer and those who would arrest and abuse Him with equanimity and resolve.
  • In the High Priest’s home, Jesus watched Peter’s denial and remorse, as He was left alone to face His accusers.
  • In the High Priest’s home, Jesus acknowledged that He was “the Son of God,” thereby guaranteeing the jury’s verdict.
  • In Pilate’s palace, Jesus acknowledged He was the Messiah, the King of the Jews and watched as Pilate declared Him innocent of all charges.
  • In Herod’s palace, Jesus remained silent as Herod urged Him to perform a miracle, and His accusers ridiculed and degraded Him.
  • In Pilate’s palace, Jesus watched silently as Pilate yielded to the mob’s outcry – instigated and inflamed by His accusers.

Is it any wonder that Jesus was in great “agony of spirit” in Gethsemane as He pondered His future?

Questions for consideration:

We can’t actually know what Jesus was thinking or feeling during His ordeal. All we have to go on is Luke’s account of what Jesus said or did. Nevertheless, we can try to put ourselves in His place and imagine how He felt and what He thought.

  • What do you find most disturbing about the events described in today’s reading? Please explain.
  • How would you describe Jesus’ feelings during The Last Supper?” Please explain.
  • How would you describe Jesus’ feelings in Gethsemane when He discovered His followers sleeping? Please explain.
  • Knowing Himself to be “the Son of God,” the “Messiah,” the “King of the Jews,” what do you think was going through Jesus’ mind when He was being accused and abused in the High Priest’s home, Pilate’s palace, and Herod’s palace? How do you think being moved from one trial to another affected Him? Please explain.
  • How do you think Jesus felt when Pilate, knowing He was innocent, gave Him up to the mob? Please explain.
  • What did submitting to the will of God cost Jesus? What has it cost you? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Submission to God’s Will (Joseph Mercier)

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you.  Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.  Tell me what I should do; give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.
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“Your Will Be Done”– Feast Worship

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Tuesday Morning, 19 Nov 2019, Luke 10:1-11:36 ~ “The Kingdom of God is near you now.”

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Luke 10:1-11:36 (NLT)

Jesus Sends Out His Disciples

The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road.

“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay.

“If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.

“What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.”

Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”

When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving

At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.

“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”

The Most Important Commandment

One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.

“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Teaching about Prayer

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

“You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Jesus and the Prince of Demons

One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart. You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

“When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”

As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

The Sign of Jonah

As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah. What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.

“The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen. The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.

Receiving the Light

“No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
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Morning Reflection:

“The Kingdom of God is near you now.”

In today’s reading Jesus extends His Kingdom ministry beyond the Twelve to include seventy-two of His followers – charging them to announce that the Kingdom of God is near, and giving them authority to heal the sick. In a way, they were Jesus’ advance team – preparing the towns and places to He intended to visit to welcome Him when He arrived.

However, as our reading unfold today, we discover that the seventy-two’s mission not only includes words and wonders – Jesus expects to be represented by people with changed lives, people who talk the talk and also walk the walk. More specifically –

  • people who are guileless, unafraid and single-minded in their mission
  • people who are wholly dependent on the hospitality of others
  • people who bring peace, blessing, and healing to those who welcome them
  • people who move on and abandon the unrepentant to God’s judgement
  • people who don’t take their acceptance or rejection personally
  • people who rejoice that their names are registered in heaven
  • people who recognize what God is doing around them and join Him
  • people who wholeheartedly love God and show mercy to those around them
  • people who prioritize spending time listening to and learning from Jesus
  • people who pray as Jesus taught, who persistently ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit
  • people who hear the Word of God and put it into practice as best they know how
  • people who desire that the light of Christ radiate from their lives

“The harvest is great, but the workers are few.
So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.
– Luke 10:2 –

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you consider yourself a harvest worker in God’s fields? Please explain.
  • How successful have you been in preparing others to welcome Jesus into their lives? Please explain.
  • Which of the above descriptions of Jesus’ representatives best apply to you? Please explain.
  • Which of these descriptions of Jesus’ representatives are most difficult for you? Please explain.
  • Where, or in what way, do you see God at work around you? How could you join Him? Please explain.
  • Who do you know that needs God’s peace, blessing, and healing in their life? How can you be Jesus’ representative to them? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: for the mission of the church

O God, our heavenly Father, You manifested Your love by sending Your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out Your Spirit on Your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into Your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“We Declare that the Kingdom of God is here”– Ron Kenoly in 1998 at Liberty University

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Tuesday Morning, 05 Nov 2019 – Colossians 1:15-29 ~ “Christ lives in you.”

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Colossians 1:15-29 (NLT)

Christ Is Supreme

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.

As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

Paul’s Work for the Church

I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
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Morning Reflection:

“Christ lives in you.”

God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too.
And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
– Colossians 1:27 –

In today’s reading, Paul begins by declaring the supremacy of Christ (v 1:15) and concludes by proclaiming that Christ lives in us (v 1:27). Let’s take a moment to reflect on what that means for believers.

  1.  The visible image of the invisible God lives in you
  2.  The predecessor and first-born of creation lives in you.
  3.  The originator and agent of creation lives in you.
  4.  The object and sustainer of creation lives in you.
  5.  The head of the church and first to be resurrected lives in you.
  6.  The preeminent one and fullness of God lives in you.
  7. The reconciler of all things to Himself and maker of peace lives in you.

Paul says that God wants us to know that because Christ lives in us all the riches and glory of Christ are for us as well. Why? So that we can be assured of sharing in His glory and not drift away.

Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.
– Colossians 1:23 –

Questions for consideration:

  • How does knowing that Christ lives in you affect how you live? Please explain.
  • How does knowing that Christ is supreme over all creation affect how you live? Please explain.
  • When you think of sharing in the riches and glory of Christ, what comes to mind? Please explain.
  • Do you think of yourself as holy and blameless, without fault, because of Christ’s death on the cross? Please explain.
  • How does knowing that Christ lives in you keep you from drifting away from God? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: For Grace to Seek God in Every Way (Benedict of Nursia)

Gracious and holy Father, please give me intellect to understand you, reason to discern you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, a spirit to know you, a heart to meditate upon you, ears to hear you, eyes to see you, a tongue to proclaim you, a way of life pleasing to you, patience to wait for you, and perseverance to look for you. Grant me a perfect end, your holy presence, a blessed resurrection, and life everlasting. Amen.

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“Driven to Our Knees” – Forever Be Sure

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Tuesday Morning, 29 Oct 2019 – Matthew 27:1-10 ~ “I have betrayed an innocent man.”

Tuesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 27:1-10 (NLT)

Matthew 27:1-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Judas Hangs Himself

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”

“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”

Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.

The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says,

“They took the thirty pieces of silver—
the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
and purchased the potter’s field,
as the Lord directed.”
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Morning Reflection:

“I have betrayed an innocent man.”
– Matthew 27:4 –

It’s hard to know what was going on in Judas’ mind from beginning to end. However, when he realizes that his betrayal has condemned Jesus to death he experiences remorse – “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” But it’s too little, too late both for him and for Jesus.

Two of Jesus’ followers have denied him:

  1. Peter has sinned by words, under the pressure of the moment, and for him there can be a new start.
  2. Judas has sinned in deed, in a premeditated, settled course of action which has now borne fruit which, too late, he wishes he could have undone.

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you ever experienced remorse for sinning by something you said in the heat of the moment? Were you able to make a fresh start? Please explain.
  • Have you ever experienced remorse for sinning by something you did that couldn’t be undone? How was it resolved? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: Of Repentance –

+ Jesus, Friend of sinners, You bring hope in our despair…. Lord, have mercy.
+ Jesus, Healer of the sick, You give strength in our weakness…. Lord, have mercy.
+ Jesus, Destroyer of evil, You bring life in our dying…. Lord, have mercy.

God of our hidden depths, in honest regret, in trust,

we confess our faults and recognize our frailty.

+ Show us that we have been forgiven, so that we may forgive….
+ Touch our wounds with Your healing, so that we may be people who heal…
+ Help us to be at peace with ourselves, so that we may become makers of peace with others….

through Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Amen.
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“Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)” – Koine

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen