Together in Community
Check in with one another.
If there are 6 or more in the group, then share high’s and low’s in small groups of 2 or 3.
- If there is a new person, welcome them and introduce group members.
- (High) Share something good or eventful that you give thanks and praise for?
Open in Prayer
We thank you God for bringing us together. We give thanks and praise for the good gifts you have given us. For the concerns and challenges we experience, help us to give them to you in the confidence of your loving care for us. In our sharing and listening, open us to your presence. Amen.
5 Minutes with God—Spiritual Practice
INTRODUCTION: “Above all,” says Paul, “clothe yourselves with love.” “Above all” means that we need to really pay attention, that his words are something essential to know and to do. What a surprise to realize that Paul is giving us wardrobe advice! “Clothe yourselves with love!” This might seem rather trite or unnecessary until we take a good look at the ways we often clothe ourselves. We have whole wardrobes of being right, being in control, being perfect, being important, being the best, and on and on.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Pay attention to your wardrobe this week. Each morning when you get dressed, be as intentional about what your spirit is wearing as you are about how you are clothing your body. You might choose a small, inconspicuous article of clothing to wear each day that is your way of clothing yourself with love. Let it be a reminder to you to act in love towards those around you when you would rather be wearing your “mean jeans” or your “bossy blouse.”
Discover Scripture and Life
Loving God with our Spirit through Worship. In Mark, Jesus announces God’s grace happening in their presence. Worship is coming into the presence of God. The first reading from Colossians offers a portrait of the early worshipping church.
Colossians 3:14-17-- 14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Luke 4:16-21-- 16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
18"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
are your earliest memories of worship? What was worship like? Where did you
sit? What feelings do you have about those worship experiences growing up?
More About the Scripture
2. Luke describes a synagogue worship experience. What actions are similar to what you experience today? How is it different?
3. It is said that Christian worship brings two things together into one service: 1) The synagogue experience of reading and comment on the word, and 2) the meal of Jesus. Something old/Something new. This bringing together of old and new is carried out in other ways: Old Testament reading/New Testament Reading. The Bible text that is old, and our context that is new. Why do you think we bring old and new together? What do we gain?
4. Jesus said: Today these words are fulfilled. What did he mean by that?
5. How are Jesus words fulfilled today?
6. Circle the actions in Colossians that are a part of Christian worship today. What does that say to you? Is there anything missing?
More about Life
7. What makes for a great worship service for you?
8. How has worship shaped your spiritual life? How has it been important for you?
9. The spiritual practice for Loving God with our Soul is here linked to worship. Why do you think this kind of link was made. Worship and Loving God with our Soul.
Together in Prayer
1. The master entrusted to the servants. What does God entrust you and the church with? What are the riches of the Gospel, the fruit of the Spirit, the resources of faith that God entrusts to your care? How do you invest or multiply them in some way?
2. Do you imagine God as the joyful master who encourages you to risk and act? Or a judging master who scares you not to act?
Pray for the concerns shared in the group. Close in the Lord’s Prayer.
You may also use this prayer.
O God, we thank you for this time we have shared. We bring before you the joys and concerns of our heart. We pray especially for….. Grant us your healing and peace, in Jesus name. Amen.
Lord remember us in your kingdom and teach us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.