God is love. That realization can be both profoundly comforting and deeply disturbing, depending on the where and the what and the how of our lives at any given moment. And even when we stop running and can begin to receive God’s love, the comfort comes with an invitation, an invitation to reflect and to share that love. These two realities–God’s faithful, loving presence with us and God’s desire that we embody that same faithful, loving presence with others–were at the heart of Jarrod’s sermon. I hope that the following pieces for reflection will invite you into further contemplation of this love that is at once both gift and invitation.
God Is For Us
Questions for reflection on the “God Is For Us” Video:
1. Have you encountered the “do-it-yourself” mindset in church? How
has that mindset played out?
2. When have you struggled to believe God is for us, for you? Why do you think that has been a struggle? How might that struggle be able to shape you moving forward?
3. When have you known deep down that God is for us, for you? Why do you think you felt that way? What might your experience of that sense of being beloved mean for the way you live your life day in and day out, for the way you carry yourself, for the way you interact with others?
Can’t Outrun Your Love
Take a few moments to listen to this adaptation of Psalm 139 by Ellie Holcomb, and then quietly meditate on the limitless love of God.
Questions for reflection on the “Exilic Living” Video:
1. In what ways are you challenged by the idea that we’re not meant to get rid of or expunge enemies but to love them?
2. What are the places, who are the people, that come into your mind as you reflect on this idea of loving enemies, and what would it look like for you to love them?
3. If loving enemies is “the most distinctive work we could do in the world,” how would that impact your day to day rhythms, routines, and interactions? What is one step you can take to begin to do this “most distinctive work”?
Hope in the Dark Playlist
As we spend the next few weeks reflecting on the story of Jonah, I thought it might be of benefit to those of us who enjoy listening to music to be able to soak our hearts and minds in music that tracks with the major movements and themes of the story. So check out this carefully curated playlist below and see what difference meditation on these themes makes in your life.