Staying Next to Jesus

Agony in the Garden
Jan Gossert – 1478-1532

Then he went a short distance farther and fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it’s possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”
Matthew 26:39

The Last Supper is over.  Jesus slowly walks with three of his closest friends to the garden where he often went to pray.  This time he’s very sad—and frightened too.  He knows that one of his disciples is going to betray him to the Jewish leaders.  Peter, James and John fall asleep as the sadness of Jesus creeps over them like a great shadow. Jesus is alone with his thoughts and his prayer to his Father.

Imagine being there in that garden—only you’re awake to watch all that’s happening  A shaft of moonlight shines on Jesus’ face.  It is very quiet—like the calm before a storm. Feel your love for Jesus and your sadness for what is about to happen.  Stay next to Jesus as he gets questioned by the mean religious leaders.

For two more Fridays we’ll stay close to Jesus as he walks toward the hill of Calvary where he died for you and me. Let’s be with him to the end.  

 Matthew 26:36–75

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

Jesus grieving unto death v. 38
Not my will, but Yours be done. v. 39
Awake and watching with You v. 40
Peter remembered and wept v. 75

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.‘s Commentary.

In Year A, we continue to read from the Gospel of St. Matthew.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Think Big and Wide!

12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink.
1Corinthians 12: 12-13

Before you read the Bible today, I invite you to sit very still in a chair. Your body is balanced, your muscles relaxed.  Beginning with the top of your head, be aware of your whole body as your mind moves down your body to the soles of your feet.  Though your eyes are closed, turn your attention to your eyes and then your ears, then to your hands resting on your lap, to your feet, resting for a moment from the job of moving your body from one place to another.  Now sense your whole body, feeling its weight and how each part of your body makes up who you are.

Who you are is more than just yourself. You are part of a “self” that is greater and more wonderful: Jesus alive in his risen body.  Like waves that widen when you drop a stone in a lake, think bigger and wider about who you are to include how you are one with Christ.  Now you’re ready to hear what St. Paul says about all this.

 1 Corinthians 12:1-27

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

Many gifts, but one Spirit v. 4
Welcoming Your gifts to me v. 4ff
All drinking of one Spirit v. 13
We are the body of Christ v. 27

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

God’s Umbrella

Let me come to God’s altar—
let me come to God, my joy, my delight—
    then I will give you thanks with the lyre,
    God, my God!
Psalm 43:4

In just five verses the feelings of the writer of this psalm change from fear to happiness.  He has many enemies that are out after him.  But rather than just sit in a corner biting his nails because he’s so afraid, he shares his suffering with God in just two verses.  What happens? Fear is gone and happiness returns.  He knows of God’s faithful love and protection of him.  

  People who do mean and evil things have turned away from God.  It’s like stepping out from under an umbrella when it’s raining.  That doesn’t make any sense!  Mean people are just plain dumb!

Is there anything that’s bothering you?  Say it out loud to God, or write it down in silence.  God’s love protects you like an umbrella from heavy rain.  Whatever mean things might be all around you, you can sit under God’s umbrella. God loves you and protects you.

Psalm 43

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

In You, Lord, I take refuge. v. 2
Send out Your light and Your truth. v. 3
I go to th’ altar of God. v. 4
You, Lord, my exceeding joy v. 4

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

We read the Psalms in numerical order on Wednesdays

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.