Wednesday, November 19, 2014

17. Surprising People (We Make the Road by Walking)

Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about a shady or colorful character from your family history.

3.  How do you respond to this approach to the meaning of "son of God"?

4.  Imagine you are a shepherd in the time of Jesus.  What do you think your life would be like?

Activate

5.  This week, look for surprising people to whom you can show uncommon respect and unexpected kindness.

Meditate

6.  After lighting a candle, hold the words "good news of great joy for all people" in your heart in God's presence for a few moments of silence.  Break the silence with a short prayer.


We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

16. Keep Herod in Christmas (We Make the Road by Walking)

Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about a time when you were a child and an adult other than a parent showed you great respect or kindness.

3.  How do you respond to Matthew's decision to include this story that none of the other gospels recount?

4.  What one thing would you ask grown-ups to do to help kids?

Activate

5.  This week, try to look at personal and political situations from the vantage point of how they will affect children and their mothers.

Meditate

6.  Light a candle, and hold in your mind both the image of Herod, ruthless and power-hungry, and the image of Jesus, a vulnerable baby.  Observe what happens in your heart and express a prayer in response.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

15. Women on the Edge (We Make the Road by Walking)

Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about a woman in your life who had a powerful influence.

3.  How do you respond to these reflections on the meaning of the virgin birth?

4.  Tell us about a time you were surprised in a good and happy way.

Activate

5.  Start each day this week putting Mary's prayer of commitment and surrender, "Let it be to me according to your will," into your own words.  Let this be a week of presenting your life to God so that "holy aliveness" grows in you.

Meditate

6.  After lightinga candle, hold the words, "Here I am, the Lord's servant," in your heart for a few minutes in silence.  Try to return to those words many times in the week ahead.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

14. Promised Land, Promised Time (We Make the Road by Walking)

Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about a time when you kept hope or lost hope.

3.  How do you respond to the imagery of Isaiah, and how would you translate some of that imagery from the ancient Middle East into imagery from today's world?

4.  When you were a child, what did you hope to be or do when you grew up?

Activate

5.  Look for discouragement or cynicism in your own thinking.  Challenge yourself to become cynical about your cynicism, and challenge yourself toward prophetic hope.

Meditate

6.  Light a candle and choose one image from the prophets mentioned in this chapter.  Simply hold that image in your heart, in God's presence.  Let it inspire a simple prayer that you may wish to speak aloud.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Quarter Queries (We Make the Road by Walking)

If you feel comfortable doing it, compose honest and heartfelt replies to one or more of these queries and share your thoughts with us.

1.  What does it mean to you to live within the story of creation?
2.  What does it mean to you to live within the story of crisis?
3.  What does it mean to you to live within the story of calling?
4.  What does it mean to you to live in a world of captivity and conquest?
5.  What does it mean to you to be part of the great conversation?  What do you learn from the priests, prophets, sages, poets, and storytellers?
6.  In what ways are you integrating into your daily life your identity in God's unfolding story?
7.  What are some significant changes you've experienced from being part of this learning circle?

Monday, October 13, 2014

13. The Great Conversation (We Make the Road by Walking)

Beating a sword into a plowshare (the cutting edge)
Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about an argument where both sides were partly right.

3.  How do you respond to this vision of the Bible as a library full of difference of opinion, yet carrying on an essential conversation about what it means to be alive?  Which set of voices do you identify with most — priests, prophets, poets, sages, or storytellers?

4.  What's one of your favorite stories — one that you like to hear again and again?  What's your favorite thing about that story?

Activate

5.  Listen for voices who fit in the tradition of the priests, prophets, poets, sages, and storytellers in today's culture.  See if you perceive points of agreement and disagreement with their counterparts in the biblical library.

Meditate

6.  In silence, imagine hearing a vigorous conversation going on.  Then, let the conversation gradually fade away so that silence envelops you.  In that silence, open your heart to God's wisdom.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

12. Stories That Shape Us (We Make the Road by Walking)

Engage

1.  What one thought or idea from today's lesson especially intrigued, provoked, disturbed, challenged, encouraged, warmed, warned, helped, or surprised you?

2.  Share a story about a "golden age" you learned about in your family, your school, or some other group you've been part of.

3.  How do you respond to the comparison between the story of Jesus' departure in Acts and the story of Elijah's departure in 2 Kings?

4.  Do you have a favorite superhero?  Tell us why you like him or her so much.

Activate

5.  Try to read the gruesome story of the Levite's concubine (Judges 19-21) and then the gentle story of Ruth and Naomi (Book of Ruth).  Do you see similar stories in this week's headlines?

Meditate

6.  In silence, hold the phrases "passive, pious complacency," "desperate, violent action," and "faithful, peaceful action" in your mind for a few minutes.  Ask God to make you an agent of faithful, peaceful action.

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation ~ by Brian D. McLaren, 2014