Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, November 2

Reading:  Genesis 37:3-11, 19-20, 26-28, 34-35 and Luke 22:47-53

  1. Out of our readings this week the theme of jealousy, betrayal, and murderous intent rise to the surface. As you read both accounts, Joseph and his brothers, Jesus and Judas, pay attention to what resonates with you. What are your own experiences with rivals and betrayers? How have you experienced jealousy and its relational effects in your life?
  2. God revealed Joseph’s divine destiny to rule through symbolic dreams. Sharing his destiny with his family, those closest to him, evoked incredulous misunderstanding that produced envy, jealousy and even murderous intent. The dynamics of this ancient family were complex and destructive. Where in your own family dynamics have you experienced conflicts and misunderstanding that led to painful rifts or broken relationships? How has resolution come to you and your family? Maybe there are still deep wounds and unresolved conflicts. Spend some time with God praying over your own family dynamics, either from the past or present.
  3. What do you notice about both Joseph and Jesus as they encounter brothers, friends who betray them with malice intent? Have you ever experienced betrayal? Have you ever been envious over another’s promotion or leadership role? Have you ever betrayed a friend, a loved one, or even yourself? Have you flip-flopped in loyalty that compromised a relationship? What was that like for you? How have you seen God work things out? How have you experienced forgiveness, acceptance, healing? Continue to talk to God about these deeply human emotions and relational dynamics.

Love One Another

The New Testament commends the phrase one another many times. We are urged: Come on people now, smile on your brother…everybody get together; try to love one another right now…Oh wait; that is The Youngbloods Vietnam-era song all the baby boomers will remember!

But the Youngbloods weren’t far off: our scriptures urge us to:

Bear one another’s burdens…encourage another…forgive one another…be at peace with one another…accept one another…be kind and tenderhearted to one another…seek the good of one another…

Paul sums this all up in the famous passage in 1 Cor 13:

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Wow you might say—those are hard things to do! But Paul is not commanding us to do these things. He is teaching that this is what LOVE does…our role is interact with God such that we receive so much love from him that his kind of love—the kind Paul describes—naturally and easily overflows from us to one another…

Clearly Holy Trinity Church would be living into our vision well to have a revival of that kind of love. But in our over-packed, long-commute lives, how are we to do this? Especially when you consider that regular attendees of Holy Trinity Church come from all over Orange County, parts of LA County, Riverside County and North san Diego County? How can we connect when we live so far apart and weeknight commutes are so impossible?

We’ve tried to create the relational part of our lives with southern California life in mind:

  • Conversations
  • Monthly Spiritual Formation Gatherings
  • Quarterly Retreat Days (diversity – from retreats at art museums (The Getty Center & Villa) to retreat centers around Southern California
  • Quarterly New Comer’s dinners – introduce vision & values; meet new people
  • “Social Dinners @ The Hunters”
  • Small Groups” (women, group spiritual direction, young marrieds’ home group)
  • Men’s & Women’s Reading Groups
  • Periodic Home Group Bible Study

We would love to connect with you…give one of these a shot…

Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, October 26

Reading: Genesis 32:22-32 and John 3:1-15

  1. Jacob has another nocturnal exchange; this time with a mysterious Man who Jacob sensed was supernatural. Jacob displays a feisty, bold, and tenacious character in this spirited fight! Witness Jacob’s interaction with the Mystery Man as you read Gen.32:22-32. He’s a fugitive and in a miserable situation yet emerges as a changed, enriched man. What intrigues you about this drama? What draws you in or challenges you about the story, Jacob, about God? What do you ascertain about struggles? About outcomes from wrestling with God?
  2. Have you ever experienced a type of struggle or wrestling match with God? What was that like? What happened? How did you respond? What was God like in that encounter? How were you changed? Maybe you are wrestling over some situational difficulty or internal issues o​f faith at the present moment. What would it look like for you to invite God into your struggles?
  3. Jesus doesn’t seem to mind our questions, our fears, our uncertainties. Read another account of nocturnal struggle in John 3:1-15. How does Jesus handle Nicodemus? What do you notice about Nicodemus at the end of this interview with Jesus? Seems like there is no clear resolution for him at this point of his journey. Yet this was not the end of the matter for Nicodemus! What are your thoughts? Reactions? Is there something you don’t understand about your own faith journey or about Spirit-filled life in God? What would you like to talk with Jesus about? Take time to have a conversation with God now in prayer. Wrestle! Offer questions! God can handle you and your struggles!

Falling Upward | Women’s Book Club

Sunday, November 30 – Our next book will be Falling Upward by Richard Rohr.

“In Falling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or “gone down” are the only ones who understand “up.” Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as “falling upward.” In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness.”

Bring your lunch if you like, and we will eat before discussing the book. We’ll start at about 12:00, but if you want to go to Conversations, feel free to come over when the Conversation is over. For those who are not staying for Conversations, I should be back at my house about 15 minutes after church ends, so it’s ok to come over before 12:00 if you like.

For future reading, our next two books will be Peace Like a River by Lief Enger, and  The Question that Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey. We’ll set the January date when we meet in December.

 

Date: Sunday, November 30

Time: 12:00pm

Location: Home of Kristin Carmody (contact us for address 949.631.2820)