Scripture Passage for Daily Reflection
Acts 1 - 2:4 (NIV 2011, via biblegateway.com)
Thoughts for this week
After Jesus was raised from the dead, he spent time with his disciples...erasing their fears through his presence. But then he ascended to be with the Father. And of course for the disciples, after three years of intense discipleship training followed by a post-graduate seminar in resurrection, the logical next step would be to launch the global expansion of the gospel, right?
Nope. They sat around in Jerusalem for seven weeks.
What did they do while they were waiting for the Spirit that Jesus promised? Well, we don’t know everything that happened during that time, but we do know a few things. They spent time together. They worshipped together. They prayed together, a lot. They continued preparing themselves for the life Jesus had called them to. They lived in Jerusalem what would soon be lived throughout all Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world.
This is precisely what we intend to focus on over the next seven weeks. As Christ Journey prepares to launch us out on a new church planting effort and as we prepare also to begin fundraising for the Intentional People ministry, we feel convicted to spend an intentional season in prayer and worship to the One Who Is Risen!
During this first week our prayers center on the issue of gratitude and joy. As people who worship the Risen Lord Jesus, we indeed have much to be grateful for. The tomb is empty and the Kingdom is at hand! We express gratitude for the ways in which we are being formed into the image and likeness of Christ as individuals and as a community. We rejoice in the friends who are hearing the gospel with new ears and those who are listening for the first time. We are grateful that the God in whom we live and move and have our being has seen fit to invite us in as junior partners in God’s mission to restore and reconcile all creation.
We are grateful for a community of faithful friends and co-laborers whose partnership in the gospel has already been a source of encouragement and support for the ministry of proclaiming the light of Christ in the dark places.
We rejoice in the Bread of Life that provides sustenance, even in the desert; the Rock which provides shelter, even in the wilderness.
We are grateful that by taking the risk of moving out on a limb in faith, we are provided with a more unobstructed view of God’s work in our own lives and the lives of those around us.
We rejoice and we are grateful, because the God of Love is teaching us to love others.
Thank you for joining us in this season of prayer.
Prayer for Easter Sunday
Lord we are grateful that you saw fit to create a vast and expansive universe. We are grateful that you formed humanity and placed us within this place to bear witness, through our very existence, to The One Who Makes All Things New.
We are grateful that you sent your only Son to conquer death, break the cycle of sin and repair the brokenness of creation. We are grateful that you have not left us to wander alone, but have sent the Holy Spirit as our guide and counselor. We are grateful that you hold together your people, the Body of Christ, to strengthen one another and lift a voice a praise. We rejoice and are extremely grateful that your power was displayed over death...we thank you, God, that the tomb is empty!
We rejoice because He is Risen! Lord, continue to open our eyes, our ears and our hearts so that we can see, hear and be moved to rejoice at the good things you are doing.
Spend a few moments in prayer today expressing gratitude for the Risen Christ; for God’s involvement in creation, in the ongoing story of humanity and in our very lives.