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Thoughts: Peter is the most vivid disciple. He was bold and talkative (very talkative), and we think of him as a big man, because he has been called The Big Fisherman.
He promised undying devotion to Jesus. “Although all shall be offended, yet not I.”
Jesus shook his head sadly. “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
But Peter insisted vehemently, “If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee!”
Discussion: We have all broken promises. What amends can we make?
Activity: This Easter week, fulfill a promise you have made.
Thoughts: The English queen called Bloody Mary reigned from 1553 to 1558. Mary grew up knowing that her father, Henry VIII, had wanted a son. She made a loveless marriage with Spanish King Philip II. She had no children. She persecuted non-Catholics, burning over 300 Protestant leaders at the stake. The English navy lost its claim to Cadiz, England’s last holding in Spain.
Shortly before her death, Mary murmured, “If you open my heart you will find two words written there: Philip and Cadiz.”
In today’s scripture, God announces that He will make a new covenant with Israel. He will write His law in the people’s hearts. “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Discussion: What two words would you say are written on your heart?
Activity: God will be at Troy First United Methodist Church this Sunday. Will you?
Thoughts: If asked what their favorite Bible verse is, many people would reply, “John 3:16,” and they could quote it verbatim.
Fewer of us would know that this beloved and exquisite verse was part of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus.
Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin. Only John records his nocturnal visit to Jesus. Later, when the chief priests tried to arrest Jesus, Nicodemus defended him, asking, “Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doeth?”
And finally, Nicodemus assisted Joseph of Arimathea in his burial of Jesus. Nicodemus brought 100 pounds of mingled aloe and myrrh to anoint Jesus’ body. He helped Joseh wrap the body in fine linen and place it in Joseph’s garden tomb.
Discussion: Nicodemus held a position of influence. How do we use our influence?
Activity: What symbolic mixture of aloe and myrrh do we have to comfort others?
Thoughts: As Bible scholars remind us, only two of the Ten Commandments are positive:
“Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”
“Honor thy father and thy mother…”
The remaining eight commandments contain “no” or “not.”
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.”
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
“Thou shalt not kill.”
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
“Thou shalt not steal.”
“Thou shalt not bear false witness…”
“Thou shalt not covet…”
Perhaps it would be presumptuous to suggest another commandment. So remember the simple but powerful reminder that Troy First United Methodist Church members are scattering: “Kindness matters.”
Be kind to one another.
Discussion: Why is it difficult sometimes to be kind?
Activity: When you are driving on a busy street, let someone waiting on a side street proceed in front of you.
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