Sunday Prayer 40

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you. (Psalm 73:25)

God, my God,
You are my total treasure
in this life and the next.

Earth’s joys are great:
bright beauty, love’s pleasures,
good gifts, and sweetest songs.

But these pale compared to
the promised joys of heaven:
no more fears, no more pain,
the old order gone, and all made new.

Still, the greatest of all joys
is found in You:
You at the center, You as the light,
You and Your banquet,
You face to face.

What other gift than You could ever
satisfy so completely our deepest desires?
Be praised today,
God, my God.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]

Resourceful Christianity: Alan Jacobs on Rod Dreher and the Benedict Option

Alan Jacobs offers some helpful reflections on Christian traditions accessing a new way through dialogue with Rod Dreher’s recent post ahead of the release of his book The Benedict Option.

That’s it, I think. You have to get to the end of your rope, you have to come to the point where you can’t live any longer as everyone around you is living. If you come to that point, then every serious Christian tradition, from Pentecostalism to Orthodoxy, has what it takes to nourish and support you. But none of those traditions can, in itself, bring you to that point. (I am not yet at that point myself: I am too caught up in the various rewards that this present age has to offer.)

Depending on where you live, you might look around you and find charismatics who are faithfully seeking to make their own countercultural way, or Baptists, or Presbyterians, or Catholics — heck, even Anglicans. It depends on whether in a given place there is a critical mass of people whom the Holy Spirit has moved to say: Enough. Lord, now give us the living water.

[Read the whole post here.]

Messiah (discussion questions)

jesus-on-the-move-series-gfx_app-squareHere are the discussion questions that accompany my message, “Messiah,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church. This is part of our series, “Jesus on the Move.” The text for this week are from Luke 9:18-21.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do people in society at large or in your relational sphere say about Jesus?
  2. We continue the series “Jesus on the Move” this week by looking at three brief but incredibly important verses. Before you begin this study, ask God to speak to you from His Word, and then read Luke 9:18-20 aloud.
  3. Background: This brief passage is one of the most significant moments in Jesus’ self-revelation and the disciples’ grasp of His identity. It comes after much teaching (6:17-49), many miracles (8:22-56; 9:10-17) and the sending out of the Twelve apostles (9:1-6), but before the transfiguration (9:28-36).
  4. This episode happens in the context of prayer. Why do you think that is important? Where else do you see prayer as important in Jesus’ ministry and life in Luke?
  5. Jesus asks His disciples who the crowds say that He is (9:18)? What sort of answers do they give (9:19)? Look at Luke 8:25 and 9:7-9 for background on the thinking of the crowd.
  6. Next, Jesus asks the disciples about their own view of Him (9:20). What do you think Jesus’ intention was in turning this question from the crowds to the disciples?
  7. Peter responds that Jesus is “God’s Messiah” (NIV) or “the Christ of God” (ESV) [the word christos is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word messiah]. What is significant about this response from Peter?
  8. If Jesus asked you the question, “who do you say that I am?” how would you respond?
  9. What is one thing that God is speaking to you personally through this study? If you’re on your own, take some time to write it down and share it with someone later. If you are with a small group, share it with one another.


Daily Reading Plan

To encourage us together in our growth with God, we are arranging a weekday reading plan through this entire series with the Gospel of Luke. As you read each day, ask God to speak to you from His word.

Follow along with the reading plan below, through the Eastbrook app, or on social media.

Feb. 13           Luke 9:10-17; John 6:14-15
Feb. 14           John 6:25-40
Feb. 15           Luke 9:18-22; Matthew 16:13-20
Feb. 16           Luke 9:23-27; Mark 8:31-9:1
Feb. 17           2 Timothy 2:3-13



What do we see when we see Jesus?

This is the question at the center of my message, “Messiah,” from this past weekend at Eastbrook Church.  This was part of our series, “Jesus on the Move,” where we have been looking at the ministry of Jesus in northern Israel in the first half of the Gospel of Luke. Unlike other weeks where we combined several passages together around themes, this message focused on three verses in Luke 9:18-21.

You can also follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

Also, join in with the weekday reading plan for this series here.

Seeing Jesus through the Eyes of the Crowds (Luke 9:18-19)

Jesus the Prophet:

  • like John the Baptist
  • like Elijah
  • like a prophet of long ago

The distance between Jesus and the view of the crowds


Seeing Jesus through the Eyes of the Disciples (Luke 9:20)

Jesus the Messiah of God

  • like Moses
  • like David
  • like other revolutionaries

The distance between Jesus and the view of the disciples


Seeing Jesus through Our Own Eyes


Sunday Prayer 39

Exiles returning, rebuilding
the temple and their lives;
recapturing the lost identity
as the chosen people of God.
Standing as one, they repent
of wrong and remember their story:
Abraham’s covenant, Joseph’s provision,
enslavement in Egypt, Moses’ miracle deliverance,
Joshua’s victorious campaigns, and so much more.
Memory marks sin’s losses and gracious gifts.

Lord, for us, too, would You
bring us home, rebuild our lives,
recapture our identity in You
as Your chosen people.
Remind us of Your gracious gifts
and sin’s losses in salvation’s story.
Weave us wild ones
into Your kingdom come,
ever closer, ever clearer,
for Your glory.

[This is part of a series of prayers for Sunday worship preparation that begins here.]