Seeing Christ…Being Christ
Faith United Methodist Church, January/February 2014
Scripture: Read Psalm 105:1-7; Acts 20:13-24
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord our God. His justice is everywhere throughout the whole world.” – Psalm 105:1-7 (NIV)
“But nothing, not even my life, is more important than my completing my mission. This is nothing other than the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus: to testify about the good news of God’s grace.” – Acts 20:24b (CEB)
Seeing Christ Being Christ is the church focus for Faith United Methodist Church in 2014. Throughout the year we will focus on ways that we are SEEING Christ in and through our congregation and community as well as be intentional about the ways in which we are BEING Christ in our church and community. Faith United Methodist Church is a congregation on a journey seeking to be a dynamic, growing community that gathers around Christ in Word and Worship to pray, learn, care, share and serve together. Sharing our stories as we journey into faith is one of the characteristics that makes for a vibrant faith community.
Psalm 105 reminds us that we are to make known what God has done, to tell of all his wonderful acts, and remember the wonders God has done. Paying attention to the ways that we see God at work in our lives and in the world helps us to remember that God is always with us. However, we are called to more than just to observe God at work, we are called to tell and make known what God has done. Doing so means making time to reflect on the ways we see God at work in our community and the world as well as taking the time to share those stories with others. In the words of Acts 20:24, we are called “…to testify about the good news of God’s grace”.
Often we hear the word testify and become intimidated. But the word testify simply means to give evidence or bear witness. In other words, to testify means to share or make known. Psalm 105 reminds us that making known what God has done is a joy-filled act of praise! “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” (Psalm 105:2-3) As a community of faith we are called to sing God’s praises! As we experience God at work in our families, church and community we are called to make known what God is doing in our lives and in our world so that others will come to know and experience the love and grace of Christ. We are called to See Christ and Be Christ!Questions for Reflection and Sharing: – What does Faith UMC’s 2014 focus Seeing Christ…Being Christ mean to you? To your ministry team? – In what ways do you See Christ in your family? Our congregation? Our community? – How might you and your ministry team focus on Being Christ in 2014? – In what ways are you singing God’s praises? How will you make known what God is doing and testify about the good news of God’s grace? What stories do you have to share as we journey into faith at Faith UMC?
Prayer Focus: Pray for Faith’s ministries, leaders and staff. Pray for our community.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for the many ways you are at work in our lives and in the world. Fill us with your Spirit and help us to recognize your presence! Give us fresh hearts, eyes and minds that are open to see You at work in fresh, new ways. Stir within us a desire to sing your praises and make know what you have done! Ignite our passion and love for you in such a way that all will experience the good news of Your grace in and through us! In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.
Means of Grace (Spiritual Practices) Challenge: Attentiveness
“Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming..”- Matthew 24:42
Learn about the spiritual practice of attentiveness. The spiritual practice of attentiveness might also be referred to as God sightings or practicing the awareness of God’s presence. Practicing attentiveness invites us to notice what God notices and see the world through God’s eyes. Incredible things happen around us every day. Paying attention to these reminders of God’s presence among us helps us to focus on the positive rather than to get caught up in the negative details of life. Listening for God and watching for God’s actions in our lives and community also helps us to discern God’s ways.
- What do you see in the world around you that reminds you of God’s presence?
- In what ways do you See Christ in your family, congregation, and community?
- In what ways might understanding the spiritual practice of attentiveness help you to be intentional about Being Christ in your family, congregation, and community?
Check out this article for more information: http://alivenow.upperroom.org/2013/06/25/practice-attentiveness/
Action step: Share a God sighting with a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker.A Prayer of John Wesley: O merciful God, whatever You may deny me, do not deny me this love. Save me from the idolatry of loving the world, or any of the things of the world. Let me never love any creature but for Your sake and in subordination to Your love. Take full possession of my heart; raise there Your throne and command there as You do in heaven. Being created by You, let me live to You; being created for You, let me ever act for Your glory; being redeemed by You, let me render to You what is Yours and let my spirit ever cleave to You alone.
Blessings in Christ,
Kathy Schmucker, Director of Christian Education & Spiritual Formation