Going Deeper

5.23-5.28.2022

We want to help you "Go Deeper" by moving Christ a little closer to the center of your life every day. The following resources are provided to help connect the weekly message to your every day life and reveal God's desire to be in relationship with you.


Questions?

Pastor Jim Hoffman

816.523.6788

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  • SCRIPTURE

    • Luke 11:1-4 (cf. Matthew 6:9-15)
    • Exodus 16:1-32
    • Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (cf.  Matthew 4:2-4)
    • Nehemiah 9:9-15
    • Psalm 78:17-30
    • Proverbs 30:8

  • REFLECTION

    I have to pause periodically and catch myself when I complain about not having the newest gadget, or the right tool, or the shiny object that caught my eye.  In that moment I need a gentle nudge to remind me that I have more than enough, more than what is necessary for me to make it through the day.  Actually, if I was really paying attention and doing a deep assessment of my circumstances, I would drop to my knees in prayer and repentance weeping over the fact that I am wealthy compared to the 80% of the world that lives off less than $10 per day.  In some respects, I am more in tune with the material concerns of life than I am with the spiritual.  Which means that I still have room to grow, spaces for God to transform in me.

     

    Realistically, humans have been concerned about the material world for some time.  I do not know what it was like for our fore bearers who were hunters and gatherers.  A romantic view could lead one to believe that it was a time of peace for most humans.  Your main work was to gather enough meat, berries, and grains for the day otherwise you might spend time studying the seasons and patterns of nature.  Somewhere though, that all changed and maybe it was due in part to the rise of productivity and monetary systems that coalesced in urban populations. Marketplaces developed and marketing became a tool to move wears.  Also at some point in human existence anxiety, fear, and even obsession over wealth and power rose to prominence in our psyche.  We developed tools and systems that made it possible for us to gather more than enough and thus we no longer had to worry about our daily bread.

     

    In the modern world, this has accelerated at a rate to where most of us reading this are self-sufficient enough that we do not rely on anyone for “our daily bread.”  Our existence is well in hand, maybe even secure and insulated from market forces.  If this is the case, then why do we need God and why should we have to ask God to give us “our daily bread?”  Haven’t we reached the point that we are the reliable providers for ourselves?  Which brings me back to the point that I am wealthier than 80% of the people who live on this planet with me. 

     

    Maybe that is why in the first century church document called Didache, the Apostles taught the followers of Jesus to pray the Lord’s Prayer, not once per day, but three time per day.  It was a clear reminder that the stability we think we inhabit is an illusion.  It does not take much for each of us to go from riches to rags, from wealth to poverty.  So maybe we should have a spiritual awakening now instead of in the midst of a crisis because in this moment we have the margin, the space to be thankful and generous in ways poverty cannot accommodate.

     

    I invite you to take time and read each of the scriptures above as you move to reflect on the questions below.  Take time to consider what it means for you to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  Lastly, I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

  • QUESTIONS & ACTIONS

    Questions to Consider this week:

    • Monday:  Look in your freezer, your refrigerator, and your cupboards; how full are they?
    • Tuesday:  When was the last time you had to literally ask God to “give you daily bread?” 
    • Wednesday:  If you have enough now, why do you continue to work or strive for more?
    • Thursday:  When you say this part of the prayer, who is included in your understanding of the word “our?”
    • Friday:  In what ways does this prayer call you to be generous? 
    • Saturday:  In what ways does this prayer draw you to think about rest, renewal, and remembrance as you give thanks to the Giver of all things? 

     

    Actions for the Week:

    • Head:  Take a moment and assess your motivation to be constantly going, getting, and gaining in life.
    • Heart:  Pray The Lord’s Prayer and then pause to see what God speaks into your soul.  Contemplate the need for rest, renewal, and remembrance.
    • Hand:  Consider your current participation in mission, service, and justice ministries at St. John’s and how God might be inviting you to a new and deeper level of generosity.  

  • PRAYER

    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.