Sunday, July 5th

The Book of Joel: “The Reality of God in our Midst”
Readings: Joel 3:1-3, 14-21 and Mark 2:13-17

Reflection Questions

A Suggestion: Read the entire chapter of Joel 3 in one sitting. You might want to use The Message version as a parallel to the version you usually read.

  1. In Joel 2:19 we heard the prophet, on behalf of God’s people, pray to God, “To you, O Lord, I call.”  How do you hear and understand God’s answer to his people in Joel 3? What immediate and future help does God offer his people? How have you found God answering your prayers in crisis? Have you experienced answers to prayers unfolding over time? What was that like for you? How did it foster faith? Did it every create frustrations? Why?
  2. Read Mark 2:13-17. What invitations from God are presented to you in this narrative? Take moments to talk to Jesus about your followership: those things and dynamics involved in the way you follow Jesus in the world. Is there recognizable sin or struggle? Is there a type of “ailment” of soul that challenges devotion, prayer, obedience to Jesus? How do Jesus’ words in verse 17 draw you into prayer or draw you close to his side?
  3. Read Joel 3 again. Are their words of hope that help or encourage you? Is there any comfort, any aspect of God either explicitly declared or implicitly felt that resonates with you? What are you receiving from God through your reflections in God’s word? If you journal, respond to God through a written response. If you do not, find a creative way to respond to God.

Complete your contemplation with this psalm-prayer:

In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
Let me never be put to shame;
In your righteousness deliver me…
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God…
I trust in you, O Lord;
I say “You are my God; my times are in your hand…”
Make your face shine on your servant;
Save me in your steadfast love!

From Psalm 31

Sunday, June 28th

The Book of Joel: “The Reality of God in our Midst”
Readings: Joel 1:1-2, 4, 10, 14-15, 19; Joel 2:12-14, 18-19, 26-32 and Mark 2:1-12

Reflection Questions

  1. The prophet’s voice beacons people to “awake” to God in the face of an epic plague of locust that swept through the land destroying crops, land, livelihood. The one plague set off a chain of other subsequent disasters: fire, drought, etc. What epic disasters have you witnessed in your life-time? Can you recall how you felt as you either experienced it or saw it on the news? What were your thoughts? What were your questions? How did you pray? How did you respond? What did you notice about your faith in God during these times? Is there some great crisis or circumstance that seems overwhelming, out of your control, that is affecting your life or livelihood at the moment? Take moments to awaken to your greatest need, deepest emotions, or the questions you have that seem unanswerable.
  2. Spend time listening deeply to the plea of God and offer of mercy found in Joel 2:12-14, 18-19. Read and sit with Joel 2: 26-32 as the promise of God’s Spirit poured out upon his people is described. What do you ascertain from these words? How do you see God through this prophet’s perspective? What invitations for your own life do hear? How might you respond in prayer or deed?

The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock

Sunday, July 19th after worship service (11:30 am)​

The Holy Trinity’s Women’s Book Group invites you to join us as we gather to discuss Penelope Wilcock’s book The Hawk and the Dove.  Bring your lunch and your reflections on this month’s read at Kristin Carmody’s house.

​Location: Kristin Carmody’s home
For address and additional information contact:kristinc777@sbcglobal.net

Sunday, June 21st

The Book of Hosea: “A Parable of Love for God’s People”
Readings: Hosea 11:1-4, 7-9; 13:4-6; 14:1, 4-9 and Mark 1:40-45

Reflection Questions

  1. Consider reading the entirety of Hosea 11-14 and in the Message version. The prophet Hosea revealed God through several metaphoric images: parent, provider, healer to name a few. As you sit with the sacred text and listen to God speak and describe himself to his people, which image resonates most with you? Why?
  2. God through Hosea reminds Israel of their past, how they were fed, led, and cared for in their journeys. Take a few moments to recall moments in your history where and when you had a heightened awareness of God’s caring presence with you. Reflect also on those moments when you turned away from God, sinned, faltered or, were fickle in faith and holy affections. What was that like as you experienced God in your faults and fickleness? As you recollect, what do you notice bubbling up, in this moment, regarding your thoughts, emotions, or faith and affections?
  3. Read Mark’s Gospel account of Jesus as healer: Mark 1:40-44. As you read, notice what comes up in you regarding a request: is there a need for a specific kind of “healing” maybe of mind, heart or body? Or in a relationship? Maybe as you’ve been reading and meditating the Holy Spirit has revealed an area of sin that needs confession? Take time now to ask, seek, and receive from Jesus, who “wills” your cleansing and wholeness. Listen again to the word of the Lord: “I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly.” (Hosea 14:4 MSG)

Conclude your reflections with a hymn (prayer) from American Quaker and poet John Greenleaf Whittier:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.