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Particular Branches

Today’s Reflection

[THINK] OF THE SCENE at Pentecost with “each person hearing in their own native language” (Acts 2:8, paraphrase). Again and again in Jesus’ encounters, we note specificity. Particular individuals are addressed in their need and in their context. People are not asked to do everything but instead to be members of Christ, the Vine, as particular branches. Amazing power is unleashed when we become fully present to the particularity of calling in our own heart and in the immediate neighborhood of our congregations.

—Dwight H. Judy
A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life

From page 56 of A Quiet Pentecost: Inviting the Spirit into Congregational Life by Dwight H. Judy. Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What unique gifts do you bring to your congregation or community?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
—Acts 2:8, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Come Holy Spirit, come.

Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Something more

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 17, 2019, 7:00 am

    I can only bring what I know and what I have experienced. What God has been working in me, and is continuing to do – I welcome the opportunity to speak about it. The peace which passeth understanding – I thought I was experiencing it to the fullness once I surrendered my diagnosis to Him. But I have been overwhelmed by His peace in the five plus weeks since mom’s passing. I keep waiting for the wave of crying and darkness to hit. I braced myself for mother’s day – but it was very good. I braced myself for going to nurseries to buy flowers – but still good. My friend sent me a picture of her wearing one of my mom’s scarfs – made me smile, not break down. And I am saying to God – Thank You – Your comfort is beyond what I could imagine. It is almost like I am doubting it can be this good…am I actually doing this thing right? Is this what freedom in Him and experiencing His grace to a very full amount looks like when surrendering to Him? I feel like I am not deserving, which I am not…none of us are – yet He welcomes me into this grace-filled place. Overwhelmed, deeply grateful, amazed. I am grateful to be at this place of recognition – it is certainly all of His doing.
    Grateful for dinner with dad last evening. Even while cooking dinner – I had many thoughts of the weeks I spent over there after school – fixing us dinner – and those thoughts did not overwhelm. It seems I am aware of things, but they don’t come close to pushing me into despair. But rather – through grace – make me more aware of Him and there is gratitude. Grateful for needed rest and sleeping in a bit this morning. Looking forward to very nice weather this weekend and time to work in my yard. While I was at tennis last night, my uncle came over and worked in the area we are landscaping. Simple kindness.
    Good morning. Prayers continue for Mary’s dad.

  • Lou May 17, 2019, 7:29 am

    Prayers for Mary and her father-
    Prayers of thanksgiving for Jill’s peace and comfort- and also for her father.
    Prayers for Roberts move and continued progress.
    Prayers for Julie and the uncomfortable living situation she is in- I know how stressful that can be.
    Prayers for Connie and the beauty surrounding her and for her thankfulness.
    Prayers for Andrea and Betsy and their families.
    Prayers for John Marshall – God loves you and cares about you- he promises to never leave you.
    Prayers for all who come to the UR today- may God grant you peace.
    Thankful for-
    My children
    High school graduation approaching
    The ability to work hard and the help I hopefully can continue to provide people
    My health and my home

  • Julie May 17, 2019, 8:11 am

    I feel that any particular gift I could offer is wasted on me because i cannot give freely all year. My health prevents any ability being put to use for the Lord.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and may Larry be faring as well as Jill.
    Prayers for Lou and her youngest as graduation approaches.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and their grandson.
    Prayers for Betsy and her husband and his job concerns.
    Prayers for Connie and her gracious attitude of thankfulness.
    Prayers for Edy and Bill and continued healing.
    Prayers for Mary and her father, may his health improve.
    Prayers for Marcy and her health issues.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and a safe and successful move.
    Prayers for John Marshall may he experience God’s love fully.
    Prayers and blessings and warm hugs and thank you dear UR FAMILY

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 17, 2019, 8:43 am

    Grateful for all your prayers.

    Spent the day with dad at the hospital today. Doc said he’s responding well to the antibiotics. He asked me to pray for God’s presence to be with him and also he’s asking God to help him. Praying that he continues to walk closely with God. Hope tomorrow he will get better.

    Blessings to all and may all be well!

    Come, Holy Spirit, come
    Fall afresh on us!

  • Connie May 17, 2019, 8:51 am

    Jill, God does indeed send His Comforter.
    Lou, I remember my graduation ceremonies. I concentrated on the graduates only. Family events are difficult, but may you soak in every delicious moment!
    You ARE being used by the Lord, Julie.
    Come, Holy Spirit. Sweep through our souls.

  • Andrea May 17, 2019, 2:36 pm

    I went to a funeral today at a church whose denomination, which out of respect I will not name, is very foreign to me. My lifelong experience and familiarity is with attending mainstream Protestant churches. My thoughts questioned and challenged what I heard in the sermon and funeral service. I needed to remind myself that people are not all cut out from the same cookie-cutter. People have differing needs and come to God through many different doors. Who am I to judge? When I hear my inner critical voice, I must step back and remind myself that God is all-knowing and I am not.

    I bring the gift of music to the church I attend. I strive also to bring the gift of a loving heart, knowing there is always room for growth in my ability to love those who I tend to judge.

    Prayers for all in the UR prayer warrior community. Blessings this spring weekend.

  • daniel J Collins May 17, 2019, 2:43 pm

    I give the gift of being a useful member. There is always a floor to be swept or a dish to clean. Perhaps someone needs a ride or five dollars for lunch.

  • Nancy Bryan May 17, 2019, 5:45 pm

    I think I bring joy and just simply who I am, nothing about power, judgment, or quick answers. I keep my commitments and the important commandment that Jesus taught us: to Love one another as I have loved you. And, love your neighbor as yourself. I try to be a good example by works and service to others, all in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

  • robert moeller May 19, 2019, 1:36 am

    Was on the road most of Friday, so this is a late post.

    I think my willingness to help any way I can is perhaps the gift God has given me. It is the gift that I have used at church.

    Thankful that there’s continued progress on the condo sale and preparations to move. Thankful things went well at Saturday’s event at church for a historical society.

    Continued prayers for Marcy, Julie, Andrea and Lowell, Anneliese, Mary’s Dad, Edy’s Bill and all in need of help for medical concerns. Prayers for Jill and Mary and their families as they mourn the passing of parents. Prayers for Connie and her husband, Betsy , Grace, Kelsey, and Harrison, Lou and her children, April, and the entire UR family. Thank You, Lord.

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