John 6: 35, 41-44, 48-61 and 66-67
Questions for Reflection:
- What feelings do you have around the sacrament of Holy Communion? Is it special, rote, confusing? What? Talk about the frequency of receiving the sacrament and the knowledge of its “first Sunday” designation.
- What do you know about the meaning of communion in Christian/Methodist history/theology? How might meaning relate to significance?
- Imagine the difficulty the first Disciples had in understanding this difficult saying of their teacher: Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you. How does this “sit” with you? How might you explain this scripture/sacrament to a child?
- What does it mean to become bread and drink for the world? Is this presumptuous on our part?
“Be gentle when you touch Bread.
Let it not lie,
So often Bread is taken for granted.
Beauty of patient toil,
wind and rain
have caressed it.
Christ often blessed it.
Be gentle when you touch Bread.”
– Freda Elton Young
Scripture Reading: John 6:35, 47-51
Questions to Ponder
- Have you had the pleasure of kneading bread dough and baking it to serve to your friends and family, fresh out of the oven? What did they say to you? How did it make you feel?
- When you share a meal, consider who might be left out? Who need food and the support that food gives? Can you see Chris in the food that you eat and give to others?
- How do you feel about sharing with others those things that might be scarce for you, such as food or coins or even love?
- Next time you serve a meal to your family or to friends, be sure to say a prayer, thanking God for the food laid before you. Be sure to think about the many ways that meal will nurture and support those loved ones and how that God is there with you.
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Read II Samuel 11:16-12:13 and consider the questions below.
- Reflect on the role of Nathan in the story. When have you/I needed a ‘Nathan’ in our life?
- When has someone deceived you in love? How did you overcome it and where did faith enter in?
- When have you practiced forgiveness in love? When does counsel help? Talk about the experience.
- At what price do we practice loyalty in love? When does love become unhealthy or even toxic? Is separation/divorce ever acceptable? Christian?
- What is your love language? The love language of those closest to you? Talk about what you have learned about ‘keeping the love tank full’.
Think about the way that God loves. Think about healthy relationships in your life. Practice love and forgiveness in this way.
Read II Samuel 1: 1-15 and consider the questions below as you listen to the message.
1. Think about love in your life. Who gave it freely and who made you work for/earn it? Were you aware of it at the time? How did each make you feel?
2. Consider the difference in love and desire.
3. Where do you most struggle with temptation?
4. What makes for real and lasting love?
Isaiah 43: 16-21
Questions for Reflection:
- Considering the Isaiah text, upon whom does God’s favor rest? The ‘elect’ or ‘chosen?’ Who/what determines the elect? Is this text as exclusive as it sounds?
- Consider the root causes of our current immigration crisis. What would need to change and where in order to address these issues? Whose responsibility is it?
- What has been the greatest learning or surprise to you during this five-week study? Where did you feel most anxious? Inspired?
- In view of all you had heard or previously studied on this complex immigration issue, describe a faithful Christian response (s). How might you be part of ‘a way in the wilderness’ for the ‘strangers or ‘displaced’ among us? What might sidetrack you?
- What next steps might the church take to increase knowledge about the Immigration crisis and/or provide forums of action for those who choose it? What might interest you?
Persistant Questions for Reflection:
1. If you had to argue an alternate view of immigration to your own, what steps would you take? What would be most difficult for you in this exercise and why?
2. As you consider the reasons people migrate/emigrate/immigrate what might you add to the list? Under what circumstances might you pick up and leave?
3. What is a stake for you around this complex issue of immigration?
Matthew 25: 31-46
Questions for Reflection:
- When and where did you first learn about the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church? (UMC)
- How does your belief square with the UMC official position on immigration? If not in agreement, how might you tweak or rewrite it?
- Reflect on how decisions are made in the UMC about social issues and your feelings about that process.
- What sources inform your position on immigration and other social issues in the world? Scripture? Church tradition? Experience? Reason? Other? Upon which do you most heavily rely and why?
Read Luke 10: 29-37; Ephesians 2: 11-19 and consider the questions below.
Questions for Reflection
- Who is my neighbor and what is required of me in relationship to him/her?
- Talk about the purpose of fences/walls.
- When do the laws of ‘man’ supersede those of grace and vice versa?
Persistent Points for Reflection:
- If you had to argue an alternate view of immigration to your own, what steps would you take? What would be most
difficult for you in this exercise and why?
- As you consider the reasons people migrate/emigrate/immigrate what might you add to the list? Under what circumstances might you pick up and leave?
- What is a stake for you around this complex issue of immigration?<br><br><br>
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