Lenten Reflection Week 3 (March 12-18, 2020)
Week 3 (March 12-18, 2020)
Our theme verse for meditation and study this Lent:
Romans 6: 3-4 3 Or, don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
We, as Christians, are baptized into Christ Jesus. We confess Jesus as Lord in the creeds of the Church. The following words from the Nicene Creed express what the Christian Church teaches about Jesus, the third person of the Trinity.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
(the second article of the Nicene Creed)
Take some time to slowly read and pray over these words. Have you any new insights about Jesus from reading this? Is there anything that you question? ______________________
The creeds are based on what we know about Jesus from the Bible, particularly the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four books tell us about Jesus’ life, teachings, works, death, and resurrection.
If you have been reading the Gospel of Mark, what have you learned about Jesus from his words and his actions?________
If you have not been reading Mark, or one of the Gospels, you might want to take time this week to begin.
Listen to what Dr. Ed Stetzer writes:
“… most Christians desire to become more mature followers of Christ. LifeWay Research found 90 percent of churchgoers "desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do." Almost 60 percent agree with the statement, ‘Throughout the day, I find myself thinking about biblical truths.’ It's striking that while most of us desire to please Jesus, few of us take the time to check the Bible to find out if we are actually doing it. Clearly, there's a disconnect.” He goes on to tell of research that reports the high rate of biblical illiteracy among Christians.
This quote points out the importance for us as Christians to regularly read and ingest the written Word of God. Let’s be intentional this Lent about doing it.
For the apostle Paul, knowing Jesus was of utmost importance.
Listen to what he says in Philippians 3:8-10
… I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.
What does it mean to you, “to know Jesus Christ?”__________
What is your knowledge of Jesus based on?________________ ___________________________________________________
How would you describe Jesus to a friend?________________
Does knowing Jesus make a difference in your attitude?______
How you spend your time?___________________________
How you treat others?_______________________________
Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…” John 14: 9b and 11
If, by knowing Jesus as revealed in the Gospels, we come to know who God is and what God is like, what are some things that we learn about God “the Father” through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus? _____________________________________________
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
What is Jesus saying about eternal life here that may be different from the way you have always understood it?____
How does our community of faith help people grow in their relationship to Jesus and our Creator God who Jesus revealed?
What is the Holy Spirit’s role in all of this?________________
(see Luther’s explanation to the third article of the Apostles’ creed in his Small Catechism)
In Col. 1:18 Paul writes: "And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church."
If we always allowed Christ to be the head of our community of faith, how would that influence our ministry priorities?___
How can we better let Christ be the head of all our ministries?
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and my own know me.” John 10:14
How does it feel to be known, loved, and cared for by God?_______
You might want to check out the song: “Knowing you, Jesus” on Youtube this week if you have access to the Internet.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
2 Peter 1:2