Monday, December 31, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Week 3-December 16, 2018
Theme- The vocation of the baptized
Vocatio Chapter: 5, Detour Towards Principality
In the Episcopal tradition, we are asked a series of questions at baptism that form The Baptismal Covenant. When we answer, we are committing to living a life that continues the work the apostles began and answering God’s call to create the community of shalom. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he writes that it is at the core of the church’s mission to care for the least and the lost. Early Christians understood that the primary focus of Jesus’s ministry was to care for the poor, the oppressed, the sick, the hungry and the needy. This was the work of the Gospel that would become the vocation of the baptized. Jesus begins his ministry after being baptized and so too should we.
Activity: During this third week of Advent, recommit yourself to the vocation of the baptized by choosing a promise of the Baptismal Covenant and make a personal commitment to live it out.
Discussion Questions: 1) How might it be challenging to live out your chosen promise of the Baptismal Covenant? 2) What do you see getting in the way of fulfilling that promise?
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Week 2- December 9, 2018
Vocatio Chapter: 3, Disciples of Peace
Scripture- Malachi 3:1-4
The work of Jesus’s ministry is foretold several times throughout the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah talks about how Jesus has been anointed by God to “bring good news to the poor... recover the sight of the blind, to let the captives go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:16-21). The ministry that Jesus goes on to develop with the disciples would parallel what Isaiah foretold, creating a community for the least and the lost.
In Sunday’s reading of Malachi, we are reminded that a messenger is being sent to “prepare the way.” The creation of this community was part of Jesus’ vocation. In this way, Christ acted as a messenger on God’s behalf. We as a Church are called to do the same. If vocation is about being invited to be peacemakers, then how do we embody that in our own lives?
Activity:Think about your communities- your church, your family, your gym, your school etc. During the time of Advent, how can you live out the Church’s vocation of being a messenger? How can you bring God’s message of love to the least and the lost in your communities?
Discussion Questions: 1)Think of a time when you have received God’s message of love from a member of your community. What did that feel like? 2) How did continue to share that message of love?
- "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
- "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
- "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
- "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
- "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
- "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
- "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball