The First 15

Friday October 1, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Friday, October 1 and this week we are exploring the practice of connecting in life-giving and life-sharing relationships as the body of Christ.

Opening Prayer

As I enter a time of prayer, I pause to be still. I breathe slowly and recenter my scattered thoughts upon the presence of God.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, come guide me into these moments of stillness. Help me use all my senses to be present with you and fully receive the goodness, beauty and truth you have to share with me today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to delight in God’s design for our lives to be lived in community, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 133.

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!

It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore. – Psalm 133: 1, 3

Pause and Pray

Today we focus on a passage from the New Testament book of Hebrews written for early Christians who had become fussily, or anxiously religious which distracted them from growing together in unity of faith.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

Reflection

I have a natural tendency to want to go my own way, and that’s really easy for me to do. I like independence, and that is easy to find. I have a need to be alone and still with God to refresh my soul, and I intentionally set aside that time in my day. I also like and need to be connected with others for the purpose of sharing life and growing in faith, and I find that this is not always as simple and easy as I would like for it to be.

The writer of Hebrews is addressing my struggle head on. I cannot give up on meeting in worship and in group life with others. But, in our world of pandemic, I have to find new environments and practices for meeting together. One example, I might need to learn to use, or learn to like using, Zoom to safely meet in group life. Another example, I might need to rearrange my schedule to prioritize meeting in group life.

Ask: How could I adapt and find new ways to share life and faith in relationships with others?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me examine my attitudes and thoughts about the life-giving and life-sharing Christian practice of meeting together. Guide me to a deeper understanding of the calling I have received and your message for me today as I slowly reread the words from Hebrews 10.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

Ask: What image, word or phrase stood out to me as I read through the passage this time? How does it impact the way I will live out my calling today?

Pause and Pray

Lord, inspire me to find new and safe ways to overcome barriers in meeting with others. Help me encourage others and spur them on toward love and good deeds as the body of Christ. Amen.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being true to you in every way. Jesus, help me reach out to others with kindness and in grace. Spirit, help me remember that we, who are many and diverse, are called to live in unity, through the bond of peace, as the body of Christ for the transformation of the world. Amen.

The First 15

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