This week at Family Program we went deeper with a story that is unique to the Gospel of Matthew. You can read more about how we did that in our February 8th Newsletter.
We are now on week 5 of our Family Challenge to spend 15 minutes each week, as a family, in prayer with a particular Scripture passage. Here are some of the take-away words and passages you sent us from week 4. Can you guess which Scripture passage they are from? Prophet. . . . the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me. . . proclaim liberty to captive. . . . gracious. . . . faith. . . healing. . . .anointed one. . . fulfillment. . . he has anointed me. . . .Jesus is liberty. . . prophecy. . . fulfilled. . . proclaim. . .
Those of you who took on the 1% Challenge to spend 15 minutes with Scripture each day may have completed the 30 days by now. It took me 32 days because I missed a couple days. If you have missed some too - don't worry just start where you left off! And if you can't remember where you left off, you can start at the beginning again. That's the great thing about the Bible, you can read it over and over and get something new out of it each time. That is especially true if you pray before and after you read the passage. I found that was the hardest part of the challenge - really spending the entire 15 minutes and praying over the passage. For me, it helped to set a timer, and it got a little easier as the days went on.
In doing this challenge, I noticed something that I have noticed before when I have been really disciplined about reading and praying with the Bible daily. Although I may not have had incredible insights as I was praying, I did seem to notice more subtle nudges from the Holy Spirit during the day. An example of this happened when we were planning the last family program. We knew we wanted to help families go deeper with one of the Gospels, and the discussion went round and round but nothing felt just right. I had my Bible out, and opened to Matthew. My eyes fell on one of the sidebars, an article about trust. I read that to the group - we liked it - we read the Scripture that went with that article. It was the story of Jesus calling Peter to walk on the water toward him. Cindi said she had a video clip of that passage. We watched it and felt it was perfect!
If you did complete the 30 day 1% Challenge - now what? Don't stop! Here are a few suggestions on how to continue:
1) Invite someone to take the 1% Challenge and to it again with them. (You can each spend the 15 minutes on your own but check in with each other every couple days to see how it is going.
2) Start with one of the Gospels and read a short passage every day. Use the steps of the 1% Challenge as you do this.
3) Choose one of the Daily Mass readings for each day. These can be found on the USCCB website.