Called to Transform [Beyond Sunday]

Read the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10

Big things begin from small seeds. A tax collector can be reformed by dinner. A small group of women in a church basement can become a mission organization with worldwide outreach. You may see your gifts as small, but in them God sees great opportunity. 

Remember a time when you offered a small kindness that was received as a great blessing. 

What actions have had ripple effects in your faith community?

What big work would you like to see accomplished? What small step might begin it?

Small Steps:

  • Set aside 30 days to pray for discernment about where God is leading you now. 
  • Read “Maid” by Stephanie Land
  • Volunteer 10 hours with an organization that works directly with poor or marginalized persons 

Long Strides

  • Commit a year to learning about a broken circumstance in the world (poverty, immigration, polarization, etc)
  • Start a small group to focus on a single issue. Study together, pool money, and offer service together. 

[Beyond Sunday] Washed by Grace 2

image from the Jesus Mafa Collection

A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” His disciples had gone into the city to buy him some food.
The Samaritan woman asked, “Why do you, a Jewish man, ask for something to drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (Jews and Samaritans didn’t associate with each other.)
Jesus responded, “If you recognized God’s gift and who is saying to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would be asking him and he would give you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket and the well is deep. Where would you get this living water? You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave this well to us, and he drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”

-John 4:7-14

Check out a modern presentation of the story by Gingamsburg Church

In Jesus’s interaction with a Samaritan woman at the well we learn four things about our own baptism:  the grace of baptism is offered by Christ; it transgresses the lines of status and station society creates; it offers forgiveness that is grounded in compassion (not judgement); it calls us to share the good news of what God has done.   [hear sermon audio]

This week, take some time to go deeper.  Ponder your own baptism, or what being baptized could mean for your life.  Read and reflect on these scriptures and questions.

Texts to read:

  • Galatians 6:14-16
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Questions to ponder:

  • What social boundaries do you find in your community?  generations?  churched/unchurched? race? income?
  • If baptism makes us one family of God, how should we engage those boundaries?
  • What is one story of something God has done in your life?
  • Who might need to hear it?

Do and share:

  • Find a picture from your baptism and share it to us at @dpumc.
  • Make some time to volunteer in a community different than your own.  Tell us about it on our Facebook page (dpumctx)


[Beyond Sunday] Washed by Grace

At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him. John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”
Jesus answered, “Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.”
So John agreed to baptize Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.”

-Matthew 3:13-17

It may be strange for a church so near Houston to talk about baptism so soon after Hurricane Harvey.  But the waters of baptism are not the waters of destruction.  They are the waters that bring life and transformation and hope.  And hope might be the one thing we need more than Mold Armor.   [hear sermon audio]

This week, take some time to go deeper.  Ponder your own baptism, or what being baptized could mean for your life.  Read and reflect on these scriptures and questions.

Texts to read:

  • Mark 1:9–11
  • Luke 3:21–22
  • John 1:29–34

Questions to ponder:

  • If you soul were a house, what room needs renovation?
  • What changes need to be made?  What stands in your way?
  • Look around you; where are hope and transformation needed?

Do and share:

  • Tag @dpumc on twitter with one sentence describing where you see a transformation happen this week.
  • Get to know someone affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Commit to chronicling their transformation.  In 6 months share an album of pictures or a short post about how God was active in their story with #harveyhope