Master Teaching

a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher

Pressing in

Did you resonate with Kenton’s post two weeks ago (In Search of Purpose)? Have circumstances in 2020 stolen your purpose? Do you feel lost? 

In this lectionary, we invite you to respond to this sense of loss in two ways. First, we consider a different understanding of our purpose. Isn’t it easy to get caught up in doing and forget being? Our exploration of this thought started with a search for what we are “called to be” and landed in 1 Peter, a book written to displaced people. Unless otherwise noted, all references and much of the phraseology in the lectionary come from that book (from the NLT, NIV, or our paraphrases).

We also had Jacob in mind. (See Genesis 28:10-22 & 32:22-32.) No matter what goes on around us—and whether or not we are the source of our troubles, we always have access to the throne room. In fact, climbing the ladder and being in the Presence is our most important doing. There is purpose in “pressing in” with intentional, persistent knocking and a strong expectation of hearing, by watching and waiting actively for an answer. Part of our calling is fulfilled on our knees wrestling with the Master Teacher for our heart’s concerns. 

Will you join us in pressing in? This lectionary can be used at any time in a manner that suits you. However, if you’d like to synchronize your lifting with ours, we will be setting aside some time during the week of November 23-28. You could also consider, like some of us, scheduling a silent retreat during this period. (See next week’s post: Self-care with the Master Teacher.)

(Links below go to songs.)

Entering the Throne Room

To our Living Hope who restores and strengthens, to our Rock be power and glory forever!

From the ends of the earth, Your people cry out to You. We are facing loss. Yet, our hope is in You. By Your great mercy you transform us from death to life and reverse our circumstances. We belong to You. (1:1-12.)

  • Nameless are known.
  • Rejected are chosen.
  • Abandoned are claimed and given an inheritance that cannot fade.
  • Unprotected find refuge.
  • Hurts become help in Your refiner’s fire.
  • Trials inexplicably turn to inexpressible joy.
  • Lost find purpose in being part of Your story.

You are the One who sees me!

Seeking Mercy

Will You forgive me for embracing my earthly citizenship rather than my heavenly one? I’m sorry for finding identity in my _____. Instead, I embrace Your call to be _____. (Choose items from the lists below to fill the blanks, or add your own.)

Problem Identities

  • good works
  • busyness
  • appearance
  • online persona
  • political party
  • family
  • relationships
  • positions
  • hurts
  • suffering

Replacement Identities

  • a royal priest (2:9)
  • one who abides in your marvelous light (2:9)
  • Your very own possession (2:9)
  • a truthteller (3:10)
  • a peacemaker and peacekeeper (3:11)
  • one who is holy as You are (1:15-16)
  • a child who loves in a way that unselfishly overlooks sin (4:8)
  • one who repays evil with blessing (3:9)
  • one who does good even when it brings suffering (2:20-24)
  • a child who rejoices at the privilege of suffering for the Name  (4:16)

Will you help me to stop chasing my own desires and instead pursue Your will (4:2)?

Being Still

I feel lost. I want to pursue Your will, but right now I’m unable to fulfill my calling and struggling to find purpose. Yet, You say I am called according to Your purpose (Romans 8:28). What is Your purpose? What are you calling me to in this current season? I’m listening.

(This space indicates a period of stillness.)

Advocating

I’m watching with You. I’m wrestling together with You over my heart’s concerns. 

(Fill in the blanks below with: 1) the names of students, colleagues, neighbors, or friends, or 2) people disproportionately affected directly or indirectly by the pandemic like children, the elderly, girls and women, or those living in particular countries, cities, or refugee camps.)


I’m concerned about my flock, the ones you’ve called me to care for. They are like sheep without a shepherd. Some have wandered away. Others are lost. (Chapter 2 & 5:1-4)

  • Will you heal _____ and give them a taste of Your kindness?
  • Will you cause _____ to cry out for nourishment?
  • Will you call _____ out of darkness and shine Your marvelous light on the pathway home?
  • Does _____ need to be fully lost before they can be found, to stumble and fall before they can stand?
  • Will you give _____ a new identity and purpose?

My sisters and brothers around the world are experiencing loss (5:8-10).

  • Living Hope, will you help _____ to watch and wait, to climb the ladder to Your throne room and press in with purpose?
  • Rock, will you restore, support, and strengthen _____ so that they can stand firm to the end? 

We also lift _____ who is experiencing unimaginable loss. 

  • Will you heal, provide, protect, and soothe?
  • Will you transform and reverse?
  • Will you be their Living Hope?

Going Forth

With a better understanding of Your purposes and a renewed sense of my calling, I leave my worries at Your feet and return to the world, but I will be back soon for You are the only One who truly sees me.

Further Exploration

  • You can find a printable version of this lectionary here: Pressing in.
  • 1 Peter
  • If You Will Ask: Reflections on the Power of Prayer by Oswald Chambers
  • Songs of Assent

Photo by Chelsea Cook from Pexels

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This entry was posted on November 11, 2020 by in in a pandemic, purpose, teacher lectionary.

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