Almighty God, by the working of Your Holy Spirit, grant that we may gladly hear Your Word proclaimed among us and follow its directing; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
One day Jesus told his disciples to pick up a stone and carry it. Peter picked up a palm sized stone and carried all morning as the Lord had asked. When they stopped at noon, Jesus told them all to look at the stone; it had turned into a loaf of bread. After lunch, again Jesus told them to pick up a stone. Peter, still a little hungry from what amounted to a dinner-roll lunch, picked up a much larger stone and struggled under its heft all afternoon. Toward evening they came to the Sea of Galilee. Jesus asked his disciples to throw the stone into the lake. Peter spluttered and fumed. “Why should I have carried such a large stone all day?”
Jesus asked him, “Peter, for whom did you carry the stone?” So often we serve ourselves in the name of Jesus. In this little imagined story Peter is carrying that larger stone because he anticipates a commensurate reward. The prayer for this week asks that God’s Holy Spirit work in us so that we gladly hear God’s Word and do it. That is the essence of discipleship. It is the world which tells us to count the cost or anticipate the reward or strategize success. Sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. What does he tell you to do? Do that.