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 8:31-38

[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
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. Do you have any crosses hanging in your house on walls or doors or as jewelry to wear? How would you describe the symbolism of those crosses?
  2. Who is Satan for you? Is it helpful to think of evil in this way? Explain.
  3. What does it mean to deny yourself and carry your cross? Is it simply being humble and contrite (giving something up) or does it also mean doing something - the very best we can with the talents and abilities God has given us?  Explain.
Advance Questions:
  1. What do you think of when you hear "the way of the cross"? How do followers of Jesus follow in "the way of the cross"?
  2. Peter took exception to Jesus' prediction of his suffering and death. Why do you think that is? What kind of leaders were Peter and others looking for? What kind of leader are we looking for today?
  3. By our human nature, we want to be prosperous, strong, successful, and influential. Jesus has other priorities. He came to serve, not to be served. He invites us to follow him and his ways. How are you doing that this Lent?
Click here to listen in preparation for Sunday
with this week's CreatingCommunity song
"Our Father We have Wandered"
Say a Prayer of your own or offer this one.

God of compassion, the way of the cross is as much a mystery to us as it was to the immediate followers of Jesus. But we have heard how your grace is exercised in the journey of suffering and rejection experienced by Jesus. Help us to hear with ears inspired, to see with eyes open to your ways, and to respond with lives committed to your service. Amen.
Pastor Lutz would love to hear your responses, questions, thoughts about your experience with CreatingCommunity. You can reach him at