BigRead12, Week 5: Signposts
A different note-taker this week – and a higher quality of note-taking! Any feedback welcome; please use the comments.
This week’s topic was ‘Signposts’. The session opened with technical difficulties, continued with silent prayer and several mobile phone calls to technical support, followed by further prayer!!
We read the bible passages: Mark 10 vs46-52 and Mark 11 vs 12-25.
We watched the video clip of Tom Wright.
Q1: Do you identify with Bartimaeus or the fig tree?
We found it difficult to choose. Discussed them being opposites, yet in both cases, Jesus gave a word and it was so. Hard to admit to not being fruitful.
Q2: What do you want Jesus to do for you?
We should ask Him for the obvious, it humbles us. Otherwise we may take things for granted. How do we cope when we ask and do not receive, this shows the difference between what we want and what we need.
Q3: What will happen if you ask Jesus to open your eyes?
We thought we might not like what we see! We do not see ourselves accurately. It could be scary, or brilliant – we may see more of God, see His plans, or other peoples’ needs. We would see other people differently, as Jesus sees them. We are human and limited, we will see clearly in the end, but right now we only see a part. Bartimaeus was blind, to the things of the Kingdom. After an encounter with Jesus, he could see who Jesus is, so he became able to follow Jesus in what was expected of him, to do what Jesus wants him to do. Some people have seen heaven, that would give us more determination to strive onwards towards our goal.
Q4: What are the causes of spiritual hunger today?
We discussed the current spiritual “famine”, people do not even discuss spiritual things, it is not on their radar. There is no understanding of spiritual matters. Shock was expressed at some of the opinions captured in the street, shown on video last week. Spiritual hunger caused today by TV and shopping, the quest for gadgets. People are kept away from community, stuck in front of TV screens. These things fill us up, prevent us from realising our spiritual hunger, so people don’t even ask the meaning of life anymore. We linked this with Sunday’s sermon concerning fasting. Spiritual hunger / fasting = intentional hunger. Geoff had mentioned in the sermon that fasting might not mean from food. Abstaining from computers, phones or TV might free up time for spiritual reflection.
Q5: How confident are you that God answers prayers?
Yes we are! There was much positive assertion that our prayers have been answered. But not always as we would like. There was some discussion of likely answers and whether we are able to hear the answer when it is not what we wanted. Take care to pray the right thing. Prayers are stored and not lost, but may be kept and answered when God feels the time is right. God answers prayers in His garden. When we don’t feel prayers have been answered, we should not let this damage our faith, but pray for us to remember the answers we have had.
We listened to the reflection from Katei Kirby.
We closed in prayer.