Prayer: Heavenly Father, show us love and belonging and acceptance in your family of believers and in your son, Jesus. Amen
Reading: John 18:33-37 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: To belong is one of the base wants for our existence. We crave being a part of something. Be it part of a social group or club, or part of an online community, or even just accepted is what we spend our lives looking for. This happens in the lunch room of every middle school in the country, in the work places and cliques of the communities we live in, and even as young as toddlers in preschool finding friends. We want to belong, we want to be accepted, and we want to be a part of something.
So Jesus stands before Pilate the morning of his death. “Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” Pilate asks him. Jesus replies that his kingdom is not of this world and that his purpose is to testify to the truth, for “everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Jesus’ nation and the chief priests have not accepted this truth that Jesus is teaching and testifying, clearly they have not listened to Jesus’ voice. Yet we who belong to Jesus, who are members of his family, who are accepted into the great cloud of witnesses hear Jesus voice and find that belonging that we crave.
But sometimes that belonging is hard to feel in our churches and in our lives. It is then our duty and responsibility as believers in Jesus to extend that belonging to everyone we meet. Yes, people sometimes do not make that easy for us, yet Jesus preaches truth and belonging in his final hours. So we are to preach truth and belonging to all at all times. --Peter Horn, Camp Mount Luther Board Member and Summer Week Chaplain
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