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