Sunday, February 10th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:12-31
Insight: These verses from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth will be our guiding passage for the week. Read these verses carefully and intentionally focusing both on your own uniqueness and your greater place within the Body of Christ.
Prayer: Creator of us all, you have created and gifted each one of us uniquely, but yet we all need each other to fully create your Kingdom. Help us to value ourselves and others just as you do. Amen.
Monday, February 11th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:12-14
Insight: It is in our nature, and it is also readily reinforced by our society around us that we can go it alone. That the best of us pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps or are a self-made man or woman. However, this is a lie. All of us, in ways big and small, are reliant upon and, frankly, need others no matter what we might think.
Prayer: Loving God, renew my understanding of courage and strength. Help me to delight in healthy interdependence in relationships with others. Amen.
Reflection: Where are those areas in your life where you feel like you are most able to go it alone? Where in your life do you recognize that you most need others?
Action Step:Draw a box on a sheet of paper, leaving plenty of space around the margins. For two minutes, write in the box things you love about our church. List as many of our strengths as you possibly can. Keep the page for the week.
Tuesday, February 12th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:15-16
Insight: In our worse moments, it is easy for us to feel as if we don’t need others because we are “better” than them. In our other worse moments, it is easy for us to feel as if others don’t need us because of how “bad” we are. These are also lies. As Paul says, for good and ill, we need and are connected to one another.
Prayer: God, help me see each member of the body as uniquely gifted and necessary to the whole. Help me to be aware of my strengths, and to be grateful for those whose strengths balance my weaknesses. Amen.
Reflection: What are the things that cause you to feel disconnected from others? Do you find that others can feel like a burden, or do you ever feel like you are making it worse for everyone else? What is it for you?
Action Step: Set a timer for two minutes. Around the margins on the page from yesterday, list our church’s weaknesses. Think of things that our church doesn’t do, or doesn’t do well—things that we are missing or could do better.
Wednesday, February 13th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:17-21
Insight: While it is natural for us to value some gifts/talents over others, Paul is reminding us that all are necessary and needed. In fact, if were all good at these perceived “better gifts/talents” that would be horrible for everyone. It is the diversity and interdependence of our gifts/talents that gives us strength, vitality, and resiliency.
Prayer: Guiding God, give me a new understanding of how value is determined in your eyes. Help me to see that each person is valued for who they are and not what they contribute. Amen.
Reflection: What are the gifts/talents you tend to see as more important or valuable? What are the gifts/talents that you tend to see as less valuable? Why do you think that is for each group?
Action Step: List names of members who haven’t been engaged with the church in a while. The body is missing some of its parts when they aren’t here. Choose one person to reach out to today. Tell them you miss them and invite them back. If appropriate, tell them specifically something they do well that is missing when they aren’t here.
Thursday, February 14th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:22-27
Insight:The more public or rarer a gift/talent is, the more we seem to value it.It is easy for us to celebrate the vocalist who sings beautifully in the worship service, but we don’t tend to give the same sort of “applause” to the nursery worker who changes a dirty diaper or comforts a crying child. If one of these gifts/talents were missing from our community, which would we feel more keenly?
Prayer: God who Sees, help me to notice those who serve in the background. Give me new awareness of the invisible but necessary functions of the Body of Christ. Amen.
Reflection: Who do you praise for what they do? Who is it you tend to ignore for their efforts? Is there anything in common among those in each of these groups?
Action Step: List names of people you know who are Christians but not currently connected to a church. If they are not engaged in a local church, both the body of Christ and the Christian are weaker than what God intends for us. Choose one person from that list to invite to church.
Friday, February 15th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:28-31
Insight: How on earth can we possibly be as different as we all are, be aware of these differences, even celebrate these differences, and yet still be together in a healthy, productive, and thriving community? The answer to this comes in the last sentence in verse 31, “And I will show you a still more excellent way.” This “greater way” that makes all of this possible, is the focus of 1st Corinthians 13, is love.
Prayer: Forgiving God, forgive me for wanting gifts I don’t have and scorning those I do. Help me to learn to develop and use the gifts and talents you have given me. Amen.
Reflection: Difficulties, divisions, conflict, and whatever else you can think of to make our getting along are always present in every relationship. However, sometimes they are a “big deal”, other times they are not. The most significant reason for how these tensions affect us is the degree to which we are acting out of love. When do you tend to be most loving? When do you tend to be least?
Action Step: What are your spiritual gifts? Looking at your paper, circle the things that you feel particularly passionate about. An online spiritual gifts assessment survey and resources are available on the umc.org website.
Saturday, February 16th
Scripture Reading: 1st Corinthians 12:12-31
Reflection: How have I grown, changed, and/or been challenged by my experience of the disciple’s journey this week?
Sunday, February 17th
Action Step: Join us this morning in worship at Quail Springs UMC at 8:30am, 9:45am, or 11:00am as we begin the next step in our Disciple’s Journey together.