Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Psalm 126, Exodus 12:21-27, and John 11:45-57
Jesus has a tendency to make people mad. He comes to us, rattling our cages, showing us things we would rather not see, and telling us things we don’t want to hear. Jesus loves us, but in a way that can sting sometimes. In fact, it is because he loves us that he does the things he does. He wants us to take notice, and to listen to what he is saying.
The Pharisees were deeply offended by the things Jesus did and said. They loved the status quo. How many times have you heard (or even said) “But we’ve always done it this way!”? How often have you used it as an excuse to not make any changes?
God wants us to change. He loves us enough to redeem us from our sin, but he also loves us enough to ask us to grow and change into something better. We are to be in his image, not the image that we’ve been in for as long as we can remember.
Ask God to show you some areas where change is needed. You may find the following prayer helpful:
Gracious God, we know that you confront us with our sin, so that we might repent. You ask us to change, so that we might become more like Christ. Grant us grace that we might be obedient to your loving commands and willing to change the things you ask us to change; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.