During Holy Week – as we have to be separated from one another and kept from gathering in the sanctuary – we will be keeping vigil with one another as we pray with the stained-glass windows from our sanctuary at First UMC in Warner Robins. Each day we’ll have a theme, meditation, personal prayer focus, and closing prayer. Spend some time in meditation with the image and then commit to a time of personal prayer centered on the daily prayer focus.
Theme: Jesus the teacher, healer, and provider.
Look at the image above. Jesus has come to teach us the ways of God. Jesus himself is the way to God. Before he completed his work on the cross and through the empty tomb, Jesus dedicated three years to teaching, healing, and working miracles throughout the land between Galilee and the holy city of Jerusalem. Jesus did not discriminate – his work was done for the benefit of all people: Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile alike. Notice that there are three persons surrounding Jesus. There is the man in the upper right corner, with a beard, staff, and fancy head covering. He most likely represents the scribes and Pharisees, the religious elite who needed to unlearn their human traditions and receive the revelation of God. What human traditions must you abandon in order to follow the ways of God? There is a young man sitting at Jesus’s feet. He is a disciple, willing and ready to follow Jesus wherever he leads, absorbing the truth that comes from Jesus’s words. Where is Jesus leading you? What truth is Jesus drawing you closer to? Then, there is a man lurking behind Jesus, perhaps unwilling to come fully into the light. Does he represent the many who needed a healing touch from Jesus, seemingly stuck in the darkness of disease or despair, waiting for a deliverer? In what ways do you need to be delivered? Jesus is working in all of their lives, pointing them to the God of heaven and earth, just as he points his hand upward to the sky. How is Jesus working in your life? Jesus came to teach – to tell us what it means to live according to God’s purposes by opening the Old Testament Scriptures to us and teaching the ways of the New Covenant. What is Jesus teaching you about God, about yourself, and about the world? Jesus came to heal – to make us whole and prepare us for the shalom of God’s coming kingdom. How are you being healed today? Jesus came to provide – working miracles, such as the feeding of many thousands with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. In what ways are you experiencing scarcity in your life? Jesus will provide.
Personal Prayer Focus: Those who are sick and broken in body, mind, heart, and spirit. Especially remember those suffering with COVID-19 and those caring for them. Pray that the healing power of the Great Physician will cover our hurting world.
LORD God, teach us your ways so that we do not lead ourselves astray and away from your life and Spirit. Continue to perfect us in your love. May we look to your hands to provide, not trusting in ourselves, our possessions, or our own plans. Amen.