May 4, Luke 24:13-35

The only person in Jerusalem      

Jesus leads with a question: “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” It’s true these two travellers had big news to discuss but the question points to a greater concern. The stories we retell and narratives we pay attention to, say something about who we listen to and who we are.

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Recognition and awareness are clues to how we are living. In a conversation this week, raise the question: What are we discussing so intently as we go about our lives? Notice your own response as well as that of others and pray that God will bring a bigger, eternal perspective into your consciousness.

May 11, 1 Peter 2:19-25

Even if it means suffering

Retaliation, revenge, deception — these are the tools of those who have wandered away from The Shepherd. This Scripture points to a work that’s already done in Christ, who has demonstrated a less transactional way of living. Where did He get such courage and faithfulness from? Jesus had His identity bedded down in a vibrant and connected relationship with a loving God from which He drew His perspective and sense of purpose.

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All of us are on a journey to this kind of relationship and can be easily discouraged by circumstances along the way. This week, choose three people in your world to pray about and to actively affirm. Write a letter, make a call, offer them encouragement about who they are, their value and their good purposes in God.

May 18, 1 Peter 2:2-10

God’s very own

Here we find references to tangible, everyday human objects and experiences that centre on our nourishment and protection. Any human being could relate to the value inherent in these things: milk, cornerstones, kindness, light, identity, mercy. Somehow we are being called to embrace these things as part of our coming to Christ. In doing so, we bring to life the goodness of God in a practical and manifest way. This somewhat simple calling is not small in its impact, rather it is imbued with weight and importance. The Scripture here repeatedly tells us we are chosen for this work. That these are the marks of a royal priesthood; in living these things, we are God’s very own.

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Choose one or two of the items from the list above, and intentionally look for an opportunity to live them out for someone who might need it. Pray to God for a deeper understanding of what these symbols mean and how they bring transformation for others, so that you can be creative.

May 25, John 14:15-21

All you need is love

This passage points to a confounding paradox. Jesus was leaving, but He wasn’t abandoning his disciples. He won’t be among them, but He will be inside them. There is an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) who had not yet been sent, but whom they already knew and had been living with.

Share the promise

The dots don’t always join up and the “why” of life can seem difficult to understand. Sit with someone who is trying to discern the way forward or who is suffering. Discipline yourself to not respond with pithy advice or attempts at comfort. Simply be present with your friend in the mystery, and quietly look for the Advocate at work. What do you notice?

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