CreatingCommunity is an email devotion to guide your preparation for worship next weekend. Imagine how much clearer and relevant God's Word will be if you have had an opportunity read, reflect, and dwell in the Word prior to worship. You may do this devotion alone, with others, as a family, or over Zoom as a small group.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for this coming weekend's worship.

Please follow these three steps:

1. Read through the text
2. Respond to the questions (select one of the sets of questions)
3. Offer a Prayer
Mark 1:9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
No Experience Necessary Questions:
  1. What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this text?
  2. What delights me in this text?
  3. What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
  4. What is God up to in this text?
Family Questions (for the entire family):
  1. We are entering the season of Lent? What are some of the activities that the church focuses on during Lent? What activities do you participate in on your way to Easter?
  2. Have you ever been tempted? How did you respond? What is a temptation for you? Tell of a time.
  3. What does it mean to repent? What is the connection between repentance and believing in the Good News that John the baptizer talked about?
Advance Questions:
  1. The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Why would the church tell this story on the first Sunday in Lent?
  2. 'Very quickly and with few words, Mark moves us from Jesus' baptism, to Jesus' temptation, to the call to repent. What do you make of this? Where is the story taking us?
  3. This year, the Sundays in Lent focus on five covenants God makes in the Hebrew Scriptures and to use them as lenses through which to view baptism. How would you describe the covenant expressed in the Genesis 9:8-17 story of Noah and the flood, our first Reading? What did God promise? How is that covenant related to baptism?
Click here to listen in preparation for Sunday
with this week's CreatingCommunity song
"Bath Her In Your Love"
Say a Prayer of your own or offer this one.

Most loving God, arrest the false god’s that have diverted us, show us the deceits that have blurred our vision, unmask the poverty of our goals and longings, expose the cheap values that parade as virtues, save us from permitting a rift between Christ and us, and deliver is from cheap guilt and trivial remorse. Please bring us to an honest repentance, the forgiveness of sins, and the renewal of our faith and love. Through Christ Jesus our Saviour, Amen!
Pastor Lutz would love to hear your responses, questions, thoughts about your experience with CreatingCommunity. You can reach him at