Sunday, November 29th

​Eucharist: The Presence of Real Hope

“​Above all therefore, let us believe those promises which Jesus Christ who is the unfailing truth has spoken with his own lips. He is truly willing to make us partakers of his body and blood in order that we may possess him wholly and in such wise that we may live in him and he in us.​”​
From John Calvin’s Eucharistic Liturgy

Readings: Psalm 33:1-5, 18-22, Rom. 5:1-11, John 6:35-40

Reflection Questions: On Art, Scripture and Holy Communion

  1. Artist Kari Dunham invites viewers to engage with their own personal narratives. Her work comments on the longing for deep and meaningful relationships. Kari incorporates home interiors, furniture, figures and personal objects as a stage for reflection on deep longing and how “home” has the potential of comfort and risk.
    Look at the Kari’s painting. Take moments to consider the scene. What do you see? How do the vignettes of figures and rooms speak of comfort, risk, a longing for relationship and belonging? Consider your own narrative, your home. It may or may not be a place of welcome and meaningful relationship. Talk to God about what is going on in your heart and life currently. Converse with God about your longings. Ask the Holy Spirit for a gift of comforting love.
  2. The title of Kari’s work is: Come to the Table. What does the invitation embedded in the title evoke in you (hesitation, cynicism, excitement, acceptance, desire, welcome, etc.)? Why? What’s going on in you as you hear the invitation and look at the homey portrait?
  3. Reflect on John Calvin’s comment about Holy Communion. When invited to Jesus’ table (all his friends are welcome to “come-eat-drink”) what do you think about? How do you feel? Do you sense comfort, risk? What do you hope to receive in communion with Jesus? What do you long for in relationship with God? Take moments now to enter more deeply into the welcome and generous hospitality of God as he bids…Come to my table (Jn.6:33-40).

Sunday, November 22nd

Psalm 93, Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37

Reflection Questions

  1. In what ways do the readings help you imagine the Kingdom of God and assist you with followership to the Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords?​
  2. Take some time as you reflect on these Scriptures to worship your King in an offering of praise or adoration.

Sunday, November 15th

The Book of Malachi
Malachi 3:6 – 4:6 and Mark 8:27-30

We conclude the Season of Ordinary Time and our book studies in the Minor Prophets with Malachi. Read the entire book as you reflect and listen to what God is saying to his people. Malachi is the final book of the Old Testament and the last prophetic voice heard until we hear John the Baptist in the same tenor, hundreds of years later proclaim “Prepare the way of the Lord!”

Reflection Questions

  1. Was you read Malachi 3:6 – 4:6 what invitations, encouragements or challenges do you sense God’s voice leading you to engage with?
  2. In what ways might God be challenging you to ask of him for an outpouring of his generosity or for you to expand your capacity to trust and give?
  3. Sit with Jesus’ question to his disciples in Mark 8:27-30. As you do, begin to search your heart by the Holy Spirit. Who do you say Jesus is? How might you want to respond in behavior or action to what you say or think? Are there any changes needed to make what you believe match with how you engage with your life and relationships?

One Vocation – Serving Others

Most Protestant look back to the Reformation as their theological touchstone. But we often wrongly think that the Reformation was only about doctrine, primarily justification by faith through grace.

Actually, the Reformers were looking for a new kind of Christian life. They were disappointed by much of medieval spirituality and church life. They were looking for a version of the gospel that would produce sincere holiness and be a blessing to every village.  Speaking of the English reformation, historian Stephen Neill explains, “They were convinced that the new understanding of the Gospel, with it’s appeal to the whole man, mind, and conscience and will, could bring about that inner reformation that to them was more important than any change in ritual or in the organization of the church.” The Reformers were looking for a change that benefited others. They thought that Christians had one vocation, to be a saint for the sake of serving others.

The layman also is called to be a saint. [T]he place in which he must work out his saintliness is the home, the bank, the factory, the dock, the field, . . . and if he has understood his vocation, he can be sure that God will be as much with him there and he is with the priest saying [the benediction] in church. ~ Anglicanism by Stephen Neill

Excerpted: Giving Church Another Chance – Todd Hunter, p.149