Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blogging toward Sunday

The Lectionary texts for Sunday include 1 Samuel 8:4-20 and Mark 3:20-35. 

As you prepare for worship on Sunday, take a moment to read through the Old Testament passage. Although the sermon will come primarily from the New Testament reading, being reminded of Israel's history, specifically why they wanted a king to rule over them, will be an important aspect of the sermon coming up on June 17th. Once you have read through 1 Samuel 8:4-20, answer the following:
  1. What do the people ask of Samuel?
  2. What is their reasoning?
  3. Whom have the people rejected?
  4. What warning does God send?
Let us now turn our attention to the Gospel of Mark. With pencil and paper handy, use the practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) to ponder the text carefully.  Slowly read verses 20-35 and silently meditate upon what you have just read. You may wish to simply sit quietly with your eyes closed for a moment. Now, write down what words, phrases or thoughts came to mind. Read through the text a second time and, again, jot down your thoughts. Finally, put yourself in the story, perhaps as one of the newly named disciples or one of Jesus' family members. Choose anyone you wish. Then, try to read the text seeing your surroundings and hearing what is happening through his or her eyes. Following this reading, what strikes you as new or interesting? Jot that down.

As you likely know, each week I meet with a group of pastors to consider the upcoming Scripture readings. We always end our time together with a spiritual practice of some sort. This week, one pastor in our group led us through an exercise that was so much fun, I want you to have a chance to experience it as well.

Looking back over your notes from your time of meditating on Mark 3:20-35, choose one word that really speaks to you. Now, write that word vertically on a piece of paper. Then, create an acrostic of the word, using the first letter to make another word of phrase--preferably something that comes to mind as you consider what is happening here with Jesus, his disciples and his family. Just for fun, I am including the acrostic that came from my experience of this exercise. I chose the word "house." It is a word that occurs a couple of times in the reading.

H--house divided
O--outside is where Jesus' family stands
U--unholy spirit vs. Holy Spirit
E--everyone who does God's will is now part of the house

Now it is your turn. Choose a word and develop your own acrostic. I look forward to hearing about your experience AND seeing you in worship on Sunday.


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