CreatingCommunity is an email devotion to guide your preparation for worship next Sunday. Imagine how much more clear and relevant God's Word will be if you have had an opportunity to read, reflect, and dwell in the Word prior to worship. You may do this devotion alone, with others, as a family, or at the start of a committee meeting.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for Sunday, September 19, 2021.

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 9:30-37

[Jesus and the disciples went on] and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
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:
  1. Have you ever had some awkward news to share? Or has anyone ever share difficult news with you? Tell of a time.
  2. Why do you think Jesus wanted his disciples to know that he would suffer and die? Was it important that they knew that before it happened? Why or why not?
  3. This story provides the mandate for children's ministries throughout the centuries. It is the example that has motivated the teaching of children for 2000 years. How have you participated in children's ministry - as a recipient, provider, support or opponent?
Advance Questions:
  1. The disciples didn't understand what Jesus was saying and they were afraid to ask. What would you like to ask Jesus?
  2. This scripture seems to call us to welcome the children God puts in front of us, to make room for them in daily interaction, and to give them a place of honor in the assembly. How are we, how are you, doing with that?
  3. When have you recently been seduced by the world’s definition of greatness: prestige, power, influence, and money. How would your actions have been different if you had taken the antidote to such a concern for greatness - servanthood?
Click here to watch this week's CreatingCommunity song
“You Can Do This Hard Thing,” by singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer
Meditate on the words as you reflect on this story.
Pray a Prayer of your own or this one.
Dear Father, when we get lost in the spirit of this age, when we forget we are children in your house, when we try to act grown up, puffed up, filled up with ourselves, lost an the effort to move ahead and take care of business, to get everything done that needs to be done, to let the weight of the world rest on our shoulders--remind us of who we are in your eyes. Help us to rest in you, to quit our striving and to learn to love and be loved. Amen.