Monday, July 28, 2014

Blogging through August

Sunflowers in Israel

The summer sermon series, Questions Jesus Asked, continues through the month of August. Be sure to refer back to this post each week to help you prepare for worship. Then, let us gather on The Lord's Day, to sing, pray, listen, and commune with our wondrous Creator.

August 3: Do you want to get well?
Read John 5:1-18. 
  1. On what day of the week does this miracle story occur? 
  2. Why is this important?
  3. What obstacles must the sick man overcome to be made well?
August 10: What are you looking for?
Read John 1:35-42.
  1. What has happened in the Gospel of John immediately before this?
  2. What role do the disciples play in spreading the word about Jesus?
  3. How is this applicable to us today?
  4. When you approach Jesus, what are you looking for?
August 17: So, can you not watch with me for one hour?
Using the spiritual practice of lectio divina, read Matthew 26:36-46 three times, allowing moments of silence between each reading. For the first reading, consider the historical context or setting. What is happening? To whom? For the second reading, reflect on what the text has to say to you. Finally, for the third reading, respond to this question: What difference does this text make today, for me in my own spiritual life?

August 24: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Read Matthew 27:45-56.
  1. What specific details are offered in this reading and why do you think they are included?
  2. What happened at the temple when Jesus breathed his last?
  3. How did nature respond to the death of Jesus?
  4. When, in your own life, have you felt forsaken by God?
August 31: Do you love me?
Read John 21:15-23.
  1. What has happened in the recent past to damage Peter's relationship with Jesus?
  2. How does Jesus model love for Peter in this story?
  3. Take some time to meditate on this question throughout the week: How could Jesus commission us to do his work when it's quite obvious that we love so inadequately?
Finally, plan to join us and invite a friend for our annual "Blessing of the Hands" service, August 31st. We will conclude our summer sermon series being blessed and being sent to do the work God has given each one of us to do.

I hope to see you each Sunday! 


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blogging through July

Sea of Galilee

Our summer sermon series, "Questions Jesus Asked” is underway. In the coming weeks in preparation for worship, take some time to read the text/s and reflect on the statements or questions that are posed. Then, let us gather to sing, to pray, and to listen for the still, small voice of our Gracious and Holy God. 

July 6: Which is easier?
Read Mark 2:1-12.
1.       Now read the text again but this time try to “see” the setting in which this occurs. How do you imagine the scene?
2.       What did Jesus perceive in his spirit?
3.       How does Jesus refer to himself?

July 13: Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?
Read Mark 4:35-41.
1.       How do the disciples respond to the raging storm?
2.       How does Jesus respond?
3.       What message does this text hold for you personally at this time in your life?

July 20: Can you see anything?
Read Mark 8:22-26.
1.       What makes this healing story different from others?
2.       Has the man always been blind? How do you know?
3.       What is Jesus’ final instruction to the man?

July 27: Are you not of more value?
Read Matthew 6:25-34 three times using the spiritual practice of lectio divina.  Pause for a moment or two after each reading to prayerfully listen. Then consider the following:
1.       What is the message Jesus is trying to share with the people?
2.       What word does Jesus have for you today?  
3.       How might his words strengthen you on your spiritual journey?

As always I look forward to our time of worship each Sunday.  Come along---and bring a friend!