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HE was wounded for OUR transgressions

About this post: We want to stay connected! This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for this season. Read them, share them, and pray that they bring God's peace and love to our communities. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.

About the author: Julie Judd and her husband Randy have been members at ZPC for more than 20 years. They have 2 adult children, Lauren and Davis. Julie has served as a Deacon and she and Randy are currently the community lay directors for the Awakening.

Today's Scripture: Isaiah 53:1-5

Reminders about this passage:

> Jesus looked like the average person. He did not have the glorious look of earthly Kings. He certainly had no royal look that showed the splendor of who he truly was: God in the flesh.

> He was the Servant of the Lord. He was considered despicable and revolting. Instead of following the servant, they shunned hIm, like he had a horrible disease, like he didn’t matter at all. He was considered insignificant and not valued–The Servant of the Lord who has come to bring PEACE, JOY, SALVATION, AND REDEMPTION would be rejected by people and deemed insignificant. 

> When the servant comes and is marred beyond recognition–He was wounded for OUR transgressions, it was OUR pains he carried! 

> It was thought that he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.  But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him--OUR SINS. He took the punishment because HE LOVES US SO MUCH. By hIs wounds we receive healing–He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, lifted them up, and gives us salvation! What a TRUE GIFT to be reminded of on Good Friday.

As we reflect on this time of change in the world: 

> We realize all of the blessings that we may take for granted–the roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, running water to take a hot shower, food on the table, and the thing that I’m sure all of us are realizing as we are all homebound, family time together.

> I personally have felt a sense of peace of being forced to all slow down a bit, instead of having our schedules so JAM PACKED with things to do every waking moment and always having to be somewhere. 

> Unfortunately, I am not the best cook--we tend to go out to eat A LOT: as a family, just the kids together, with friends, etc. I’ve LOVED our time of preparing meals together and getting to do things like actually making Toll House Cookies from scratch (instead of the break and bake kind) with the kids. Just getting back to the basics of enjoying spending time together–playing games, watching movies, and laughing together.

We are constantly improvising to maintain the things that are important to us the best that we can–online sermons, prayer chains, online workouts, “elbow bumps” instead of hugs, teachers making videos for the kindergartners and the college kids.

Let us remember:

> Getting outdoors – NOT CANCELLED
> Family – NOT CANCELLED
> Music – NOT CANCELLED
> Reading – NOT CANCELLED
> Singing – NOT CANCELLED
> Laughing – NOT CANCELLED
> Hope – NOT CANCELLED

Let's embrace what we have!

Activity:

Please listen to one of my favorite Christian songs “You Love Me Anyway” by Sidewalk Prophets in the link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH6T4HUezXQ

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, 
WE PRAISE YOU when we see warmer temperatures and sunshine and signs of new life with the green grass and flowers blooming. We praise you for giving us glimpses of HOPE–seeing workers stocking the shelves at Target with toilet paper and chicken finally being available in the meat section, for all of America trying to come up with creative ways to make more surgical masks to protect health care workers during this crisis. We know there are so many unknowns surrounding us recently and we know we need to trust you and your plan. Just like in this passage when Jesus took the punishment that made us whole and by his wounds we received healing–the whole world is in need of some healing right now and we know that nothing is too big for you! Help us remember another verse from Isaiah--one of my favorites: Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand. 
Amen

Posted by Julie Judd with

Being servant leaders

About this post: We want to stay connected! This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for this season. Read them, share them, and pray that they bring God's peace and love to our communities. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.

About the author: Brian Rockensuess has attended ZPC since 2010 with his wife, Stephanie, and their sons Mason age 5 and Griffin age 1. They are active with their Home Group. Brian is also a board member of the non-profit organization, Fountains of Hope, with whom ZPC partnered in 2019.

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: JOHN 13:4-16

In John 13:12-16 Jesus has just finished washing his disciples’ feet and then asks them if they understand the example he is trying to set for them. It is imperative for the disciples to understand that they need to lead by example for Jesus’ mission to thrive. There is no better way to spread God’s love than to serve others. That is especially true when leaders are the ones serving. Their example trickles down to everyone that follows.

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

On February 29 I picked John 13:12-16 for this devotional. At that time the US had some cases of the COVID-19 on the west coast, and only one death. The majority of us were probably not living in a world consumed by this virus. Fast forward a month and life as we know it has drastically changed.

Our world, country, state, towns, work, and neighborhoods have turned upside down. COVID-19 has caused the majority of the world to come to a screeching halt causing fear, anxiety, in some cases panic. Businesses are making very tough decisions, many people are without work, others are trying to work from home while managing their families, and even scarier the brave men and women in the medical profession are continually putting their lives and health at risk going to work to help the sick.

While the continual uptick in cases and deaths is devastating we continue to have hope. We see the grace of God continually shining through. Individuals and companies all over the world are being servant leaders by doing everything they can to help those in need. This is the embodiment of John 13:12-16.

As Christians and a church body we are called to go out into our communities so that we can share the grace of God. While we need to be extra careful and practice social distancing, what better time to be a servant leader. We can do that through prayer, checking in on neighbors, bringing groceries to someone’s doorstep, or any of the other ways we can serve our community.

Prayer:

Gracious and loving God,
We thank you for this day as we await the resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. Be with us as we navigate the trials and tribulations of daily life. Calm our fears and anxieties during this time of uncertainty. We know God that you are in control and we put our faith and trust in you, Lord. Push us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus as you call us to be servant leaders. Amen

Posted by Brian Rockensuess with

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