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Spiritual Discipline Lessons from the Junior Class

Valerie Ferrara

Some led worship, some read scripture, some spoke, some prayed. Whatever the task assigned, the Class of 2021 gave their all Wednesday morning when they shared their insights on spiritual disciplines.

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.  –James 5:13-16

Speaking on the power of prayer, Phillip Yuan told how his family had been very close when he was young. At age 6 he was sent to boarding school, then to America to attend Boston Trinity Academy when he was in eighth grade. He confessed how lonely he felt at times, but as he has come to know Jesus, his faith has grown. "Every time I pray, God is listening. Prayer has changed my life," he said. "God's power is amazing."

But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."  – Luke 10:41-42

Julyssa Castro expressed the need for the discipline of simplicity. Julyssa attended a leadership camp this past summer, where she was totally away from technology and every other "outside" influence. Sensing the call to ministry, Julyssa said she felt the Holy Spirit encouraging her to "rest, worry less, let go, and let God." She explained, "God isn't looking for anything elaborate or formal. He wants you. He is constantly fighting for you and waiting for you to let Him in."

Then someone called from the crowd, "Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father's estate with me." Jesus replied, "Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?" Then he said, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."  –Luke 12:13-15

Tim Reiad elaborated slightly on Julyssa's talk about the discipline of simplicity, adding the practice of solitude. "These disciplines are an inward attitude displayed in an outward lifestyle," he said. Seeking the kingdom of God above everything else teaches self-control, generosity, contentment, and gratitude. "It gets your focus off of 'stuff.'" He then briefly shared about his own foray into solitude, a two hour walk just "doing nothing." Even though it wasn't an extremely long period of time, it still cleared his mind, and he could feel God's presence. "It is remarkably important, amid distractions, to set aside time to reflect," he concluded.

There will be no Chapel next week. Chapel services will resume on December 4th with "Lessons and Carols," led by Mrs. Kirstin Peltz and the Chamber Ensemble.