May 19 Devotional

Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, as the day dawns and calls me to my labors I ask you to enable me to gladly do the work to which you beckon me. May I do it as a servant of Christ doing the will of God from my heart. Amen (Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob Benson and Michael W. Benson)

Scripture: Matthew 10:1-20

Journal: What does it mean to be sent? What words or phrases in this passage help capture the nature of our mission and our calling?

Reflection: The more I think about the meaning of living and acting in the name of Jesus, the more I realize that what I have to offer others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness through which the love of God can manifest itself. The celebrant in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass says: “Glass shines brighter when it’s broken...I never noticed that.” This, to me, is what ministry and mission are all about. Ministry is entering with our human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope. This hope is not based on any power to solve the problems of those with whom we live, but on the love of God, which becomes visible when we let go of our fears of being out of control and enter into His presence in shared confession of weakness.

The great paradox of ministry, therefore, is that we minister above all with our weakness, a weakness that invites us to receive from those to whom we go. The more in touch we are with our own need for healing and salvation, the more open we are to receive in gratitude what others have to offer us. (Gracias! by Henri J.M. Nouwen)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mike and Stephanie are working with a project called LEARN (Leadership Education and Resource Network) based in Beirut, Lebanon. The project’s aim is to provide high quality, interactive Biblical training via Internet to Arabic-speakers wherever they are found. Pray today for both Mike and Stephanie that they would model a joyful and content relationship to the students where they work and others they will encounter. Pray for daily filling of the Spirit, eyes to see and a heart to embrace all the Lord is doing.

Young Life Tennessee seeks to pursue and befriend lost or disinterested teenagers to introduce them to Jesus, share the gospel, and help them grow in their faith. Pray today for all of the students reached by Knoxville Young Life that they may know the love of Jesus through summer camps.

Closing Prayer: Lord, take my lips and speak through them; take my mind, and think through it; take my heart, and set it on fire. Amen. (Little Book of Prayers by W. H. Aitken)