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Mission Devotional - October 15, 2016

Opening Prayer: Disturb us, Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life; having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity and in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; and to push back the future in strength, courage, hope, and love. This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ. - Sir Francis Drake

Scripture: Matthew 13:53-14:12

Journal: Who has been a prophetic voice in your life lately? How did they disrupt you? How did they offer you hope? What was it about their message that disrupted you? What has been the fruit of that message since then?

Reflection: The life of a prophet is certainly not an easy one; just ask Jesus, and John the Baptist for that matter. Not only is it a lonely job, but it is also one that is fraught with danger. Because the prophet is the one who is called upon to speak out, whatever that may look like. And, in most cases, the ones he is called to speak out to, generally don't receive it real well. Jesus lived in his hometown for most of his life. Yet it was not until he began to speak out that the people of that town began to have a problem with him. The reason for that is that the prophet's job is to disrupt and to offer hope. The problem being that people have to be able to endure the disrupting part in order to get to the hopeful part, and none of us likes to be disrupted. Yet it is a necessary part of the spiritual journey.

What role has disruption played in your spiritual journey lately? Where and how, and through whom, did that disruption take place? And what was your response to it? Were you like those in the Scriptures for today, or were you able to listen to and embrace the disruption, knowing that the end result of it would be new life and hope?

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

A. and B. are serving in a Creative Access country. Their family is building friendships and seeing them mature as A. continues to teach at a local university and serve the teachers and students there. Pray today for this family as they have recently returned to the country where they serve after a summer in the U.S. Pray that they will all adjust quickly to living there again.

Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, is a campus organization that seeks to share the gospel with students through relationships, small group studies and larger events like retreats and mission trips. John Strange leads Cru at the University of Kentucky. Pray today for the staff of Cru and the students involved in their ministry during the Fall semester.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, our God, help us to always be open to the voices of the prophets you send into our lives, knowing that if we embrace your message through them that whatever disruption may initially arise from their words will always be followed by the hope of new life with you. Amen.