Day 5 of the Great 50 Days: The Next Generation?
Level 1 (5 Minutes): Sit quietly for 5 minutes and breathe. Imagine the next generation being blessed by your prayers.
Level 2 (10 Minutes): After resting for five minutes, read the scripture prayer and highlight words or phrases that interest you.
Adapted from Luke 1.1-3: Dear Jesus, Luke studied in close detail what eyewitnesses described about Your ministry on earth—starting from the beginning. Then he decided to set down an orderly account of the events that You, Jesus, fulfilled on earth, so Your deeds and words could be handed on to the next generation. Through Luke’s Gospel, Theophilus received a reliable account—beyond the shadow of doubt—so he could retell Your story. Instill in us to a healthy curiosity about these same events so we can pass on Your story through prayer and action and live on earth as in heaven. Amen.
Level 3 (15 Minutes): After pausing to breathe and reading scripture write about what you would like the next generation to know.
Level 4 (30-45 Minutes): Record your insights or ideas. What in your reading and reflections is helping you to understand what forming a Beloved Community will mean on earth.
Will Willimon (Acts, 1998, p. 13) is confident that the Scripture in Luke and Acts is “a creative organization of the tradition” whose “scope” was not just “useful to Theophilus, (addressed in Acts 1 prologue) but is equally as important for us today. Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit anoints and when the Holy Spirit comes on us, we will be able to be witnesses.” (See Day 2 prayer.)
Willimon says when Scripture refers to something happening, “in the name of Christ,” it is not said “in any magical way. Rather the preached word unleashes the power of the resurrected Christ so that the gap between the earthly Jesus and the resurrected Lord is bridged by the Holy Spirit.” (p. 13) Scripture is written to help us continue to pray and act as the people who lived and walked with Jesus did. Acts 2.39 tells us “For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
In my experience as a preacher, I have found people respond more to prayers and actions that they do to words. So here are my questions for today:
What is the Holy Spirit putting on your heart to pray about and to act upon this day?
Who is a trusted friend that might help you in this discernment?
Prayer recap: Dear Jesus, I want to know your story from beginning to end in great detail so that it becomes embedded in my heart, and it influences everything I do and say. May your Holy Spirit live in me, and may everyone in this Beloved Community feel your blessings on earth as in heaven. Amen.