COMING ALIVE TO NEW POSSIBILITIES – SERMON RESOURCES
ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP
This Sunday, Easter Sunday, Pastor Donnell spoke of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. He also spoke of God making all things new (chapter 21 of the book of Revelation). During the celebration, nearly a dozen people were baptized. Baptism symbolizes the death of our old self and the new life that we accept from God through Jesus. Jesus speaks often in the gospels of our need to die to ourselves in order to live the life that God has for us. This is a figurative death, not physical. It means the death of our ego, our selfishness, our pride, the ways of living that we have developed to get what we need and want from the world. In chapter 12 of the gospel of John, Jesus says: “behold, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” The single seed represents our life without God. The growth of the seed into a stalk of wheat represents the fruitfulness of a life connected to God.
Today, for our meditation, we will focus on two short verses: verse 5 from chapter 21 of the book of Revelations and verse 24 of chapter 12 of the gospel of John. When you have 10 minutes of more free this week, take some time to put aside what is on your mind, particularly anything or anyone that is a source of worry or anxiety. As you do this, as concerns come to your mind, hold them in a place in your mind where both you and God can look at them. Then ask God to take care of them for the time that you will be praying. It may take several times of doing this, as the same concern may return. That’s okay. Simply hold them up to God and ask him for whatever you need with respect to that concern for the short time that you will be praying.
When you feel reasonably at peace, read Revelation 21:5 slowly: “Behold, I make all things new.” Then read John 12:24: “behold, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Sit quietly with these two verses and invite God to join you in doing so. Observe your feelings. Do your thoughts focus on yourself, or on others, maybe your family, the church, the world. Do you feel hope, despair, excitement, judgment? Share these feelings with God and be open to his response.
Read the two verses again, slowly: “Behold, I make all things new. Behold, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” Does your focus stay the same, or has it shifted? Either way, notice your feelings. Also notice any senses that God might be speaking to you about these verses. Are there ways that you wish God would make something new? Share these with God. Are there aspects of yourself that you wish would “die” and would be made new? Share these with God. Share whatever you feel with God. Be open to his response.
You might write down any significant things that you shared with God or that he spoke to you.
Happy Easter! He is Risen!
Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.