BigRead12, Week 1: Preparation
Julie Andrews said that starting at the very beginning is a very good place to start, so we began our Lent series at last night’s Church Night at the begining of Mark’s Gospel. We’re following the material from #BigRead12 and we’ve linked to some of the resources there. If you missed being with us last night, try to make some time to work through the session. It would be great to hear what you have to say!
The theme of the evening was preparation, so to get us in the mood we went a little retro:
After that not-too-serious start we let Tom Wright set the scene:
Then we read Mark 1:1-20:
We talked about John’s role in the unfolding story, as herald, messenger, preparer. We wondered how to describe the role and came up with ‘trailer for the film’, the ‘warm-up’ act, and the ‘advert that makes you hungry for the real thing’.
We listened to John Pantry’s reflection:
We asked some questions to get things going:
- Am I giving others a heavier burden because I’m not fulfilling the role God has called me to?
- Should I be taking time to discover what my gifts are and how they fit into the picture of my local church?
- How do we know if the desires of my heart are what He wants for me?
- Is the discontent that so many people feel about their lives, the result of not playing the part that we were destined for?
We said that God works around our poor choices, but there must be a limit to this and what we choose not to do must have a knock-on effect. We spoke of church as a family where everybody has a place and as a team where we each have tasks / responsibilities. Someone used the recent experience of an expedition where one individual was hopeless at map-reading, but boy could they cook!
We talked about the role of personal faith in our professional lives, and the need to listen to God to work out where we fit in. Someone explained how God often showed them what to do when asked, but we struggled a little with the question: Is it him or is it me – how do we know?
We recognised the importance of others – Jesus called a community of disciples to follow him – and the need to test out together what God might be saying about our gifts and roles.
We then spent some time thinking about how , approching Lent, we might make space for God in our lives and ‘prepare the way’, perhaps by trying out something new or doing something differently to jolt us our of our comfortable and habitual ways of doing things so that God might speak to us in new ways / lead us into new things.
There was lots more. If you were there, what have we missed in this summary? If you couldn’t make it – add your voice by commenting below!
Next week: Echoes (Mark 4:35-41)