Christian Education

The Gifts of Discipleship: Week 5

Training Disciples
Lent 2021: The Gifts of Discipleship

Week 5: March 24, 2021, 7pm

Watch video here.

Welcome & Intro

Scriptures for this week

  • Micah 6:6-8 – “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
  • Luke 4:16-21 – When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
    And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
  • Mark 12:41-44 – He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
  • Mark 11:15-19 – Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,
    ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
    And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

Introduction to this week’s Gift of Discipleship:
To strive for justice and peace in all the earth

Questions for Discussion/Journaling:

  • What does it mean to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?
  • What examples of this have you seen or witnessed in your community and world this past year?
  • In what ways might you be called today and in the days ahead to “strive for justice and peace in all the earth” yourself?

Prayer of the Week:
Gracious God, we thank you for the promise of a world of justice and peace. Your love for your beloved humanity is breathtaking. To send your son Jesus Christ to live among us and die for us is humbling. Allow us to partner with you to bring justice and peace in all the earth. Show us the way. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

Voices from the Synod:
Deacon Karen Melang; Former Nebraska Synod Council Secretary and Former Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity (in Fremont)

Christian Education

The Gifts of Discipleship: Week 4

Training Disciples
Lent 2021: The Gifts of Discipleship

Week 4: March 17, 2021, 7pm

Watch video here.

Welcome & Intro

Scriptures for this week

  • Ephesians 4:25-5:2 – So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
  • John 15:12-17 – This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
  • John 13:5-20 – Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”

Introduction to this week’s Gift of Discipleship:
To serve all people, following the example of Jesus

Questions for Discussion/Journaling:

  • What does it mean for you to serve following the example of Jesus?
  • How might Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet be an example for us today of serving our neighbors in our daily lives?
  • In what ways might we be “imitators of God” through how we serve and show love, grace, and compassion?
  • How do you sense that God may be calling you to serve? 

Prayer of the Week:
Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of service. We are recipients of your love made known in Christ. Fill our hearts with compassion, so we might serve out of a spirit of love rather than under the mantle of obligation. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

Voices from the Synod:
Divine Cubwa, member of ELCA Church Council and student at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Christian Education

The Gifts of Discipleship: Week 3

Training Disciples
Lent 2021: The Gifts of Discipleship

Week 2: March 10, 2021, 7pm

Watch video here.

Welcome & Intro

Scriptures for this week

  • Romans 10:13-17 – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
  • Matthew 28:16-20 – Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Introduction to this week’s Gift of Discipleship:
To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed

Questions for Discussion/Journaling:

  • What does it mean for you to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed?
  • How have you been doing so during this time of pandemic (perhaps making use of your online or social media presence)?
  • How do you feel called to proclaim the good news now, and in what ways do you think God may be calling you to do this going forward?

Prayer of the Week:
Gracious God, we thank you for the good news of Christ Jesus. Use our lives to boldly proclaim your good news made known in Christ. Use our words and our actions to reflect the goodness of your love. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen. 

Voices from the Synod:
Pastor Don Marshall, Oaks Indian Mission (Synod ministry partner)

Christian Education

The Gifts of Discipleship: Week 2

Training Disciples
Lent 2021: The Gifts of Discipleship

Week 2: March 3, 2021, 7pm

Watch video here.

Welcome & Intro

Scriptures for this week

  • 1 Corinthians 10:14-17 – Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
  • Luke 24:28-35 – As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Introduction to this week’s Gift of Discipleship:
To hear the Word of God and to share in the Lord’s supper

Questions for Discussion/Journaling

  • What does it mean for you to hear the Word of God and share in the Lord’s supper?
  • How have you experienced new ways of doing this during this pandemic time?
  • In what ways has the Word and sacrament filled you in the good days of life and in the hard days of life?

Prayer of the Week:
Gracious God, we thank you for the gifts of Word and sacrament. Open our ears to hear your Word as it speaks among us. Open our hearts to be nourished by the sacrament of Holy Communion as it is shared. Open our lives to your freeing love; for you alone can feed our hungry spirits and satisfy our every need. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen. 

Voices from the Synod:
Micah Spruth-Janssen; Ministry Assistant at Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Kearney, Nebraska; and student at University of Nebraska – Kearney

Christian Education

The Gifts of Discipleship: Week 1

Training Disciples
Lent 2021: The Gifts of Discipleship

Week 1: February 24, 2021, 7pm

Watch the videos here:
Part 1 (15 mins)
Part 2 (10 mins)

Welcome & Intro

Scriptures for this week

  • Philippians 1:3-11 – I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
  • John 20:19-23 – When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Introduction to this week’s Gift of Discipleship:
To Live Among God’s Faithful People

Questions for Discussion/Journaling

  • What does it mean for you to live among God’s faithful people?
  • What has this looked like during the pandemic and what might this look like going forward?
  • How do we remember that we are to live among all of God’s people — moving beyond just being in worship together on Sundays, whether online or in person, but truly living among God’s people daily?

Prayer of the Week:
Gracious God, we thank you for the gift of the church. We are especially grateful for those who have taught us what it means to be a disciple and Child of God, and for those who have modeled love, kindness, and mercy. Bless our church and guide us to be a model of faithful living today and always. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen. 

Voices from the Synod:
Lisa Kramme, Nebraska Synod Director for Faith Formation
Click here to watch Lisa’s message.