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 over Zoom as a small group.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for Sunday, September 12, 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 8:27-38

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he 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:
  1. Whom do you say Jesus is? Why do you say that? Where did you learn that? Could you be mistaken or unfinished in your faith understanding?
  2. Why did Jesus ask his disciples to tell no one that he is the messiah? What does he say next, "teach them", that might make it hard to belives that he is the messiah?
  3. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Is that something you find easy or difficult? Explain.
Advance Questions:
  1. How might you respond to someone who says Jesus may have been a good teacher and a moral man but he certainly wasn't God?
  2. What do you think of a savior who suffers? As you respond ask yourself- is my mind set on divine things or human things? What did you learn?
  3. If someone was observing your life, would they say that you are trying to save it for your sake or trying to lose it for Jesus' sake? What impact would the answer have on how you continue to live your life? Explain.
Click here to watch this week's CreatingCommunity hymn
Lord, Teach Us to Pray" by Joe Wise
Meditate on the words as you reflect on pivital story.
Pray a Prayer of your own or 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.