12.19.2021 | WE ARE THE OUTSIDERS | Wk 15: “Loving the Outsider”
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What makes you feel loved by someone the most?
This week, we continue through the Gospel of Mark by reflecting on the Advent candle of love.
First, reflect on agape love specifically. Agape Love is not about feelings, but rather a COMMITMENT to SEEK THE GOOD of a person REGARDLESS of our judgments of their character or how they respond to us.
What stands out to you about this definition of love? Is this how you naturally think about love?
Next, read Mark 15:21-41. For Mark, this is the climatic moment of his Gospel. Leading to it, he describes Jesus as going through a symbolic procession of a King triumphantly taking his throne (Jesus is anointed, crowned with thorns, adorned in a royal robe, & now takes up his throne). In every way, Mark sees this as the victory of God’s Love & the moment when Jesus truly becomes King.
How does this scene epitomize a love grounded, not in emotion, but rather in commitment, non-judgment, & self-sacrifice for others?
How does agape love help us understand this scene as being, in some way, triumphant? That is, how does it turn upside-down this tragic, hopeless, horrifying scene to make it victorious?
How does agape love inform Mark’s understanding of the crucifixion as a moment of kingship & enthronement?
Close by reflecting on the nature of agape love & the example of the cross in our own lives.
How do we practice agape love in a healthy way? That is, how do we honor its vision of commitment, non-judgment, & self-sacrifice; while still maintaining healthy boundaries & self-care?
Consider a hard relationship that has been creating stress, anxiety, or pain in this season. What would a healthy vision of agape love look like in practice in that relationship? How might it help you (& potentially the other person) heal?
At the very least, how would putting it into practice help you maintain your integrity & relinquish resentment in that relationship? How could that be understood as a victorious or triumphant act in your life?
Getting Out of the Hole
During this series, reflect on each week’s message:
- Read through Mark chapter 15.
- Sit with each story & reflect on what they might be saying to you in this season.
- In particular, reflect on what Jesus is doing & how people are responding to it (good or bad). Ask yourself, “Where am I in this story?” Then try to find yourself in each character (good or bad!)
- Journal about what comes to mind & how this might reorient you in this season. Write about how these stories speak to your work, ministry, relationships, self-care, & goals.
Journal, reflect, & pray on how God might be speaking to you through this week’s teaching. Share your experience with your growth group next week!
Simply Jesus by NT Wright
Jesus & The Victory of God by NT Wright
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Coming Up This Week:*
Sunday, December 24th: Join us for Christmas Eve gatherings at 3:00 & 5:00PM!
* Please see mye3.org for details.