Stories, Thoughts & Prayers from Our Redeemer’s Community for the Days of Lent 2018
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! IT IS NOT HARD!
- OUR SHARED AIM: To share our experiences and thoughts relating to a verse of the Bible.
- In this way, we deepen our community and our faith — together.
- Our goal isn’t to publish a book or show how wise or faithful we are!
- Gain insight and joy in exploring and sharing your own Lenten journey.
- Very briefly! 2 to 3 paragraphs.
- Sharing an experience that is specific, personal and had an impact on your faith.
- Try to link your experience(s) to the Bible verse.
- What does that verse mean to you? Starting with that question may lead you to discover or rediscover important moments.
- Email your story to Intern Katlin Dickinson-Laurence (firstname.lastname@example.org) or turn it into the church office by Feb 7, 2018.
TRY THESE QUESTIONS:
- What specific situation does the verse make you think of? Who? Where?
- What thoughts were you having that were important?
- What feelings did the situation invoke?
- What impact did this specific time have on your faith, experience of Lent or more broadly your connection to God.
- You may also consider your experiences of waiting for God to help you in times of need or uncertainty. Maybe you have found God in the faces and grace of others.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF THAT PROCESS
by Ellen Arrington
“Where can I go from your Spirit? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
(Situation) Walking on top of the sand dunes in North Turo Beach in the summer of my fourteenth year, I was waiting for my life to begin.
(Thoughts) So many thoughts invaded my peace, I was hovering between childhood and whatever came next. What direction should I go, when will things become more clear? When can I relax?
(Feelings) I looked out over the beach to the silvery waves and white caps and suddenly I saw every single crystal of sand glistening like tiny mirrors reflecting the beauty around me. I felt a peace come over me. I realized I must have been praying. Young children on the beach with their faces filled with wonder, the magical landscape, the air, the smells – everything seemed draped in a celestial presence.
(Impact) That was the day I knew God’s presence in a visceral way, I understood that the divine is always around us and that as we wait we pray and hope even if sometimes it is not entirely conscious. For me, that was the day I awoke to God’s redemptive and embracing love. I was changed and remain forever grateful.
EXAMPLE OF A STORY
by Jim Arnold
“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world so that all who trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.” John 12:46-67
I chose this passage from John because it spoke to me of the dark times we are all experiencing in so many different ways at this time. There is personal darkness, events that happen in our personal lives that we struggle to make sense of. We ask, “why me?” We search to try and understand and find reason for things that happen. We ask, “what did I do to have this happen to me? How can this be part of God’s plan?”
Then there is the darkness that seems to have enveloped the world around us: wars, poverty, illness, dishonesty, homelessness…crimes that seem to have no limit on how evil they are.
The answer I struggle to understand, but believe is what God is asking of us to accept, is to know it is always God’s plan and not our own. We must demonstrate the strength of our faith and know in our hearts that God asks us to be faithful to his works so that we are not mired in darkness but in the gift of everlasting life in the Light.
THESE ARE JUST EXAMPLES. OTHER IDEAS:
Do you write poetry? Want to share in a different way? Draw a picture or even a cartoon?. Please do it!
Pastor Kathy and Pastor Gretchen, Jim Arnold, Ellen Arrington, and Intern Katlin Dickinson-Laurence are always available for questions or support!