Spiritual Homework Easter Week

April 15, 2020 

Hello, church!  

Happy Easter! This week’s suggested spiritual nourishment focuses on prayer. Rather than encouraging you to keep talking to yourself in isolation (no judgment), I am encouraging you to talk to God. It might look the same as talking to yourself, but it is way more productive and meaningful. #Hannah #1Samuel1 

But seriously, let’s continue what we started on Good Friday, and make this a whole week of dedicated prayer. Our hearts are heavy with many concerns, situations, sadness and grief, and we would be wise to turn those over to God. Below you’ll find some suggestions for what to discuss in your time spent with God and some resources. In addition to the new resources, please don’t forget about some of the ones I highlighted in previous emails, such as The Divine Hours 

Peace, 

Chess 

 

Good Friday Prayer Meeting Notes 

This past Friday, many of us met virtually for a time of prayer, and I’d like to share my notes from the meeting for those of you who could not attend, and as a suggestion for us all to continue praying about this week. There are some specific requests and some broader categories for you to pray over. 

 

  • Earnestine’s brother-in-law, Roosevelt with a note of praise that Roosevelt is off the ventilator and has received a positive prognosis, but has a long road ahead 
  • Jay and Linnea’s new baby, Eliana 
  • Daniel and Aileen and Devin and Aimee as the births of their babies approaches  
  • Jennifer daughter of Galen and Carolyn
  • Diana’s cousin’s family and Debbie’s friend and family who are all COVID positive
  • Danny and Frasier (friends of Meghan) 
  • Donnis’s friend needs surgery 
  • Marvin and other immunocompromised people
  • Jennifer P’s family, particularly her brother
  • Health 
      • Continued healing 
      • Protection for all, especially immune compromised, elderly, new babies, etc. 
      • Strength and health of care givers 
      • Wisdom for those leading the fight against COVID-19 
      • Those who are grieving losses 
  • “Front Line” Workers 
      • All those working to keep us going, providing medical care, and working on treatments 
      • Some of ours might include: Maravet, Sasha, April, Jay
      • All who are working in front-line jobs to keep us fed, supplied, safe, healthy, etc and for those working or volunteering in food banks and shelters to help those in need 
  • Church 
      • Globally, and our congregation 
      • Wisdom for appropriate responses to our situation 
      • Thankfulness for virtual worship 
      • Thankfulness for all of you! 
  • Employment 
      • Those who are unemployed 
      • Essential employees 
      • Those who have had to let employees go 
  •  

This week’s Memory Verse  

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.  – John 20:29 

This week’s verse comes out of the story of Thomas doubting the resurrection of Christ. Having seen and touched the wounds of Jesus, Thomas believes, and Jesus declares blessings on those who can believe without seeing and touching like Thomas was able to do. In times of crisis it can be difficult to remain firm in our belief, but this verse reminds us not only of the possibility of believing without seeing, but also of God’s blessings on those who do believe without evidence. Consider using this memory verse as a breath prayer, and if you missed out on my introduction to breath prayers, please see the link below. 

Book Recommendation 

Walter Brueggemann is a renowned scholar of the Hebrew Bible, professor, and author. As such, he is superbly gifted at prayer, and over the years, he collected the prayers he offered before he would teach. The first such collection of prayers is Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth, and it is my recommendation this week. The book is full of evocative prayers that offer comfort, challenge, poetry and peace when our own words seem to fall short. I highly recommend that you check this book out, but in the meantime, here is a sample prayer: 

 

We are Baffled 

Easter Tuesday/April 17, 2001 
                             (Page 162) 

Christ is Risen 

He is risen indeed! 

We are baffled by the very Easter claim we voice. 

Your new life fits none of our categories. 

We wonder and stew and argue, 

and add clarifying adjectives like “spiritual” and “physical.” 

But we remain baffled, seeking clarity and explanation, 

we who are prosperous, and full and safe and tenured. 

We are baffled and want explanations. 

 

But there are those not baffled, but stunned by the news, 

stunned while at minimum wage jobs; 

stunned while the body wastes in cancer; 

stunned while the fabric of life rots away in fatigue and despair; 

stunned while unprosperous and unfull 

and unsafe and untenured… 

Waiting only for you in your Easter outfit, 

waiting for you to say, “Fear not, it is I.” 

Deliver us from our bafflement and our many explanations. 

Push us over into stunned need and show yourself to us lively. 

Easter us in honesty; 

Easter us in fear; 

Easter us in joy, 

and let us be Eastered. Amen. 

 

Previous Links 

Below are the links to resources I have mentioned in previous emails for your continued reference.  

Weekly Lectionary 

Daily Lectionary 

Bible Gateway Reading Plans 

Phyllis Tickle’s, Divine Hours 

The Way of the Heart, by Henri Nouwen 

Breath Prayers 

 

Activities for Children 

Here are links to three activities for the kids this week.  In keeping with our ongoing focus on prayer, the first is simple prayer activity for your children. 

Family Quarantine Prayer  

Inventor Scavenger Hunt 

Book Scavenger Hunt  


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