Join us! Spring 2019
Walking the Way of Love - Spring 2019 - Study Series
The Way of Love is one type of spiritual rule of life.
A spiritual rule of life is a purposeful tool to help us grow into a more meaningful life with God. As such, following the practices of the Way of Love can change one’s relationship with God, ourselves and others with whom we share the earth.
The way of Love invites us to a rule of life that leads to incarnating Divine Love in world.
This semester, students will gather as a community, meet up for one-on-one chats, have online meetups and engage the way of love through personal reflection, prayer and action. We will set goals for a Rule of Life for this season together and check in with one another about how it is going.
Every two weeks a new principle/practice/step in the way of love will be introduced. Follow the progress here, and on our social media.
Themes for each week of Spring 2019
“Living the Way of Love is less about adding a bunch of spiritual practices to your already busy life and more about intentionally using your time in a way that is fruitful and encourages spiritual, emotional, and mental growth."
The Way of Love is a rule of life. With whom could you travel the Way of Love, helping to keep each other accountable?
April 7 & 14 - Bless
BLESS: Share faith and unselfishly give and serve. Jesus called his disciples to give, forgive, teach, and heal in his name. We are empowered by the Spirit to bless everyone we meet, practicing generosity and compassion and proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ with hopeful words and selfless actions. We can share our stories of blessing and invite others to the Way of Love.
Read: Luke 6:27-38
What is the best gift you have ever been given? Why was it so special?
Who was the first person who told you about Jesus?
Name a time you were blessed. What happened? How did you feel?
What have you been freely given? What can you freely give? (Matt 10:8, NIV)
Where is God already working in your neighborhood? How could you partner with God to bring about blessings and love for those around you?
Who in your life could you invite to join you in the Way of Love?
God gives us gifts so that we can share them. What are your spiritual gifts? What are the ways you share them with your community of faith and your community at large? (1 Cor 12) What else have you been gifted?
What things get in the way of sharing your faith? What things get in the way of sharing God’s blessings? Are they the same things, or different?
What is one practice of generosity or compassion you could commit to trying this week?
What are the ways the Spirit is calling you to bless others in your community?
Pray: Just as Jesus called his disciples to give, forgive, teach, and heal in his name, we are empowered by the Spirit to bless everyone we meet, practicing generosity and compassion and proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ with hopeful words and selfless actions. Help us o Lord, to boldly share our stories of blessing and invite others to follow your Way of Love. Amen.
April 21 & 28 - Go
May 5 & 12 - Rest
February 3 - Rule of Life
February 10 & 17 - Turn
Turn: Like the disciples, we are called by Jesus to follow the Way of Love. With God’s help, we can turn from the powers of sin, hatred, fear, injustice, and oppression toward the way of truth, love, hope, justice, and freedom. In turning, we reorient our lives to Jesus Christ, falling in love with Jesus again, again, and again.
Read: Matthew 4:12-25
What word or phrase stands out or speaks to you in this passage?
When have you turned your life towards something new?
When the disciples chose to follow Jesus, they made a substantial change to their way of life. What do you think this was like for them?
What do you think the disciples gained in turning their lives toward Jesus?
What do you think the disciples sacrificed in turning their lives toward Jesus?
What caused the disciples to turn? Are you called to turn by similar causes?
What does it mean to turn toward Jesus? In our story the disciples literally and physically get up and follow Jesus. Since we do not live in Jesus day this will look different in our lives.
Perhaps Jesus’ disciples turned towards him because of the Good News he shared. What do you think that good news was in that day? What do you think is good news today?
Pray: Like the disciples, we are called by Jesus to follow the Way of Love. Help us O God, to remember that with your help, we can turn from the powers of sin, hatred, fear, injustice, and oppression toward the way of truth, love, hope, justice, and freedom. And that in turning, we reorient our lives to Jesus Christ, falling in love again, again, and again. Amen.
February 24 & March 3 - Learn
LEARN: Reflect on Scripture each day, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings.
By reading and reflecting on Scripture, especially the life and teachings of Jesus, we draw near to God and God’s word dwells in us. When we open our minds and hearts to Scripture, we learn to see God’s story and God’s activity in everyday life.
Read: Matthew 11:25-30
What word or phrase stands out or speaks to you in this passage?
What do we have to learn from Jesus, either in general or by considering the passage we just read?
What do you think this passage means when it uses the word “knows”?
How can one be wise and intelligent and yet not know?
What is the difference between knowing and understanding?
How does knowing something provide ease, comfort, or rest?
What does it mean to know the Son? What does it mean to know the Father? What do you think the author of this text means by differentiating between the two?
What is the relationship between learning and knowing? What does this have to do with having faith or being a Christian?
Pray: O God, from whom all wisdom flows, guide us in the reading and reflecting on Scripture, especially at this time, on the life and teachings of Jesus. Help us to draw near to you as your word dwells begins to within us. May we open our minds and hearts to your word, so that we may see your story and your work present in our everyday lives. Amen.
March 10 & 17 - Pray
PRAY: Dwell intentionally with God daily.
Jesus teaches us to come before God with humble hearts, boldly offering our thanksgivings and concerns to God or simply listening for God’s voice in our lives and in the world. Whether in thought, word or deed, individually or corporately, when we pray we invite and dwell in God’s loving presence.
Read: Luke 11:1-13
When do you feel closest to God during your day?
What is your favorite way to pray?
Think of a story of how prayer has impacted your life.
Which person of the Trinity do you most often address in your prayers?
What part of the Lord’s Prayer are you drawn to right now? Why?
In the story of the boy Samuel in 1 Samuel 3, Samuel confuses the voice of God with the voice of Eli. Have you ever mistaken God’s voice for someone else’s? Or, have you heard God through the words of others?
The Book of Psalms includes many psalms of thanksgiving, as well as lament. What changes when we can pour out all of our life, the good and the bad, to God?
What does “God’s loving presence” look like in your life? Or what could it look like?
Kathy Staudt, a spiritual director and seminary professor likes to say, “Five minutes of silence a day is the spiritual equivalent of flossing your teeth.” How can you foster silence and receptivity to God in your own life?
What intentional prayer practices center you in God’s presence, so you can hear, speak, or simply dwell with God? How do you invite God to dwell in you? If you don’t know about intentional prayer practices, where could you get more information?
What stands in the way of a more active and consistent prayer life? What are simple (or complex) changes you can make to be more present to God throughout your day?
Pray: Lord God, may we follow Christ teaching - coming before you with humble hearts, boldly offering our thanksgivings and concerns to you, and listening for your voice in our lives and in the world. Whether in thought, word or deed, individually or corporately, create an awareness within us, that when we pray we invite and dwell in your loving presence. Amen.
March 24 & 31 - Worship
WORSHIP: Gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God.
When we worship, we gather with others before God. We hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, give thanks, confess, and offer the brokenness of the world to God. As we break bread, our eyes are opened to the presence of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are made one body, the body of Christ sent forth to live the Way of Love.
Read: John 4: 19-30
What is your favorite Sunday or other service of the Church year? Why?
What is your favorite hymn? Why? (What is your least favorite hymn? Why?)
What is the most meaningful part of a worship service for you? Why?
How has community changed your life?
Talk about a time you experienced God’s presence in a worship service.
What is your favorite way to worship God outside of Church?
Have you ever participated in worship leadership (like ushering, serving as an acolyte, reading, etc.)? How has that changed your perception of what it means to worship?
What do you think it means to have the eyes of our faith opened? (From the Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter, also Luke 24:31)
What prevents you from coming to worship with your community on a weekly basis? How can you remove some of those obstacles?
What communal worship practices move you to encounter God and knit you into the body of Christ?
Pray: Oh God, be present to us as we gather with other before you to worship. Open our hearts and minds to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, give thanks, confess, and offer the brokenness of the world to you. As we break bread, may our eyes be opened to the presence of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and create an awareness among us that we are made into one body, the body of Christ sent forth to live the Way of Love. Amen.