Month: February 2019

02.24.2019

GOING DEEPER

02.24.2019 | “Prodigal | Week 4: The Father”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Share a story of when you did something that was mildly embarrassing.

 

The Dig

In Romans 8:31-39, Paul lays out beautiful imagery about God’s love for us, as expressed through the Jesus and the cross.

Read the passage.

On one hand, Paul lays out things that “charge”, or accuse, us, and also things that separate us from God and the love of Christ.

What are some things, thoughts, or ideas that accuse you, or try to separate you from Christ’s love and from God?

On the other hand, against those things, Paul lays out the solution. Re-read 8:32-34, and 37-39.

React to these verses, in particular verses 37-39.

What stirs up inside you? What is your emotional response to them?

What does it mean to you to understand the extent of God’s love?

What do you think God expects or desires from you in return? (Though there’s no “right” answer, think about the parable in Luke 15.)

How has this series impacted or influenced your understanding of God? What difference has it made?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Consider who you identify THE MOST with in Luke 15: are you the lost sheep or coin? The younger son? The older son?

Are you called to come home? To respond to the embrace of the Father?

Are you called to become more LIKE the Father? More loving and compassionate?

Share your response with a trusted friend or pastor, and with them consider what your response, or next step forward, could be.

 

Additional Resources

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
The Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
Jacob and the Prodigal by Kenneth Bailey (this is more of a scholarly approach to this text).

 

What’s Going On This Week (see MYE3 for more details)

Friday Mar 1, 7PM: SHE3 Bonfire.

Sunday, Mar 3: Our sermon series for Lent, titled “Jesus Wept,” begins. Lent is the 40 days that leads up to Easter. Beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 6), it is a season of reflection, repentance, and fasting in order to prepare our hearts to remember Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection.

* Please see mye3.org for details.

02.17.2019

GOING DEEPER

02.17.2019 | “Prodigal | Week 3: The Older Son”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Do you consider yourself a “joyful” person? Why or why not?

What role do you think joy has in the life of a Christ follower?

How do you think one can cultivate, grow in, discover or recover joy? Share some ideas around your group.

 

The Dig

Read Luke 15:25-32

What would you say is the older brother’s core issue? How would you put it in your own words?

Is there any area of your life where you can you relate to the older brother?

As we learned last week, all of these discussions and encounters between the father and both of his sons are taking place in the midst of a very close community. Nothing can be hidden. As one scholar put it, this conversation between the father and his older son would be like a shouting match that takes place in the middle of a wedding reception. In other words, it would be definitely “cringe-worthy” and awkward.

How does the father respond to both sons (verses 20 and 28)?

In response to his father, what you hope would happen in the older brother’s heart? How would he be impacted by this?

How does Jesus resolve the story?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Using joy as a diagnostic tool, assess where you are in your faith journey.

What would it mean to recover joy in your relationship with God? Here are a couple suggestions for this week:

Start with gratitude. Begin a discipline of gratitude. For the next 30 days, each day write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Try to be aware, not only of the “big things” that are gifts from God, but also very subtle, little things (like breathing, or a good cup of coffee). Allow gratitude to lead you back to joy.

Find a place or way to serve that gives you joy. We are all wired up differently, with unique strengths and passions, interests and talents. Sometimes we are serving in an area that’s (a) out of our gifting and (b) out of obligation.

Without being irresponsible or abruptly abandoning commitments, consider finding a place to serve that brings you joy, and that connects with your heart and soul.

 

Additional Resources

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
The Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
Jacob and the Prodigal by Kenneth Bailey (this is more of a scholarly approach to this text).

 

What’s Going On This Week (see MYE3 for more details)

All Week Long: Painting in Lobby (check www.mye3 for any relocation information).

Friday, Feb 22 at 6PM: All In Mtg.

* Please see mye3.org for details.

02.10.2019

GOING DEEPER

02.10.2019 | “Prodigal | Week 2: The Younger Son”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

Describe your childhood home (if applicable). What does the word “home” mean to you?

 

The Dig

For many of us, we are so familiar with the story of this father and two sons that we lose sight of the message, of its radical nature. Remembering the context, and what Jesus is trying to do (which is to give an explanation of why he offers friendship to outsiders and “fringe people”, and to answer the question, “What is God like?”), try to read this part of his 3-part parable with fresh eyes.

Read Luke 15:11-32 (if you want to recall the first two parts of the parable, read verses 1-10 first).

Over the next few weeks, we will focus on the three main characters of this part of the story, beginning this week with the younger son.

When the younger son asks for his share of the inheritance and leaves the family home, contextually it is like saying to his father, “I wish you were dead,” and then leaving behind everything and everyone who has been a part of his life.

What could cause someone to do something like this? What might be his motivation?

In verses 14-19, the younger son decides to return home. What appears to be his motivation? Do you think he has “repented”, or changed his heart? Why or why not?

On Sunday, Eric mentioned that some “tools” for figuring out when we have left home include anger, jealousy, resentment, or a desperate hunger for power, security, and unhealthy relationships.

First, could you describe the relationship between leaving home—the place where you are called “Beloved”—and things like anger and jealousy and resentment, etc.?

In other words, why are those voices counter to the voice that calls us “Beloved”?

Or how about this: How does hearing the voice called you, “Beloved” reduce and/or eliminate anger and jealousy, and resentment, etc.?

Second, in what ways are you like the younger son? Have you left home and journeyed far away from the voice that calls you “Beloved”?

What would it look like to return home?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Most of us have left home (at least once!); the trick is to learn to come back and sit with the Father who longs to call us “Beloved”, or “Child.”

This week, make it a point to spend time with your heavenly Father, and hear His voice calling you back home.

Continue to look for areas in your life in which you are still experiencing resentment and anger, or an unhealthy relationship with power, status, or sex. These are indicators of ways in which we still need to “return home.”

In addition, consider who else in your life might need to hear the invitation to come home. Who is your “one more”, and how can you invite them into this spiritual journey to the perfect, reckless love of the Father?

 

Additional Resources

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
The Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning
Jacob and the Prodigal by Kenneth Bailey (this is more of a scholarly approach to this text).

 

What’s Going On This Week (see MYE3 for more details)

* Please see mye3.org for details.

02.03.2019

GOING DEEPER

02.03.2019 | “Prodigal | Week 1: Trouble at the Table”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

Breaking Ground

What were dinners like in your house growing up? Did you have guests or visitors? If so, how frequently?

 

The Dig

Read Luke 15:1-10

Do you think it’s possible to be an expert on the Bible (like the “legal experts” and Pharisees) and still miss the point? How does something like this happen?

In what ways does the church (in general) get this wrong even today?

What are some ways that the church could do a better job of not losing sight of God’s heart for people?

Jesus—and according to these parables, God as well—seems to be able to somehow simultaneously accept people right where they are at and also invite them to grow and change, heal and transform.

Why is it so difficult for us to do this?

As Eric mentioned on Sunday, there are interesting points of comparison, contrast, and progression in the first two parts of this parable. See if you can remember what they were:

Who’s Lost?
Who Finds? What are the details?
What’s the end result?

In particular, what is the picture of “repentance” or “changing your heart” that these stories portray?

In your own words, what would you say these stories say about God, about you as a human being, and about God’s relationship to you and humanity?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

1. If you’re lost, let yourself be found. Stop running, and let the Father pick you up and bring you home. Maybe you just need to tell someone, “I’m done running.”

2. If you are a “church person”, who are you excluding from Kingdom? Are your arms open as wide as Jesus’? Is there a person—or a group of people—that you have trouble accepting on Sunday? Maybe you need to admit that, ask for forgiveness, and ask God to give you the heart of Jesus for everyone.

 

Additional Resources

Abba’s Child and The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning

 

What’s Going On This Week (see MYE3 for more details)

TONIGHT: Chili Cookoff 6PM (NOTE: If you’re looking for an EASY opportunity to introduce someone to E3, this is a perfect event for you!)

SATURDAY: Service Opportunity: Fire Escape Construction. Onsite at E3.

If you or someone you know is in need, our Food Pantry is also open this Saturday.

* Please see mye3.org for details.