Sunday, March 10, 2019

Lent Week One


Lent Study 1: Sharing and Giving



Readings: Deuteronomy 26: 1-11 and Luke 4: 1-13
The land of milk and honey
After the Jewish people had been led by God through Moses out of Egypt to their new land they finally were able to lead a good life. It was the land of milk and honey.

1.     What does that mean?
If you decided that this meant that they had good food and enough of it you would be right!
In the reading from Deuteronomy it says that the Jewish people were to show gratitude by taking the first part of every crop and putting it in a basket to take to the priest to say thank you.
So the people actually had to give something away! They had to do this to show they were really thankful for being given what they had.
2.     Can it be hard to give things away?
Especially if they are good things?
Sometimes it is not hard to give away something we really do not need or want any more. It’s a bit harder to give away something we would like to keep and eat – like the first carrot from the garden or the first tomato.
But the Bible actually says the Jewish people were to give these away.
3.     Should we also give things away to show we are grateful for what we have?
We need to think about giving things away.
Lent is often a time when we think about:
·       giving something away
·       or not doing something we like to do so we have time to help someone else. Giving up something we like to do.
1.     That can be hard? Why?
2.     What can we give away?

One day, just after Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist, Jesus was asked to do something very hard. This story is in Luke 4: 1-13. 







At the end of this video there are some questions: Let’s think about a couple of them:


1.     I wonder what Jesus and God talked about in the desert?


2.     Was it hard for Jesus to say “no”? Is it hard for us to say“no”? 


So we have heard how we can give up something to show we are thankful. We know it can be hard. But Jesus was asked to do something tough and he managed it. How? 


Maybe we too can ask God to help us when we give something away or give something up. 


Other L’Arche Communities

Something we like to do in our L’Arche community is to think of other communities in the world who may need some help, our help.

3.     Is there someone from another community you may know? A former assistant or someone who visited our community    Or someone you visited on travels?


4.     Who do we know from L’Arche communities in other countries.?



5.     Are there ways we can help these communities?  Are there ways we can contact these communities in friendship?



Closing Prayer  (This is the L’Arche Brisbane Prayer)

God you call us into L’Arche. You invite us to give life. You are with us in calm and troubled waters. Be our hope. As we continue the journey together. Amen.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Advent 2018 Week Two

Advent 2018

 Hand in Hand
       
ADVENT

Anticipation

Desire for the values of our faith tradition

Voices of advent: Isaiah, Gabriel, Mary, John

Expectation

Time, seasons and rhythms of the year,

moving from ‘ordinary’ time to ‘Christmas’

Advent Song
Come Lord Jesus by Carey Landry

Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus;
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Come, O Prince of Peace.
Come, O Prince of Peace.
Come, O Prince of Peace;
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Hearts are open
Hearts are open
Hearts are open
Come, and be born in our hearts.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus;
Come, and be born in our hearts


Week One: Solidarity
Week Two: Generosity


Light 2 candles

Song

Reflection






Reading
Matthew 2: 1-2, 9-10

















Pray


Come, Lord Jesus. 

Sit quietly and let your hands rest in your lap
Look at your hands and think of all they have done during the day
What have they done for ourselves and others
Look at the picture of ‘hands in generosity’ hold out your hands in the same way.

How do we show generosity? In our home, community, in our world

2 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the time when Herod was king. Soon afterward, some men who studied the stars came from the East to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the baby born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star when it came up in the east, and we have come to worship him.” ….
9-10 And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the East. When they saw it, how happy they were, what joy was theirs! It went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 11 They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him.


When the wise men followed the star to find God’s great king, they didn’t come with empty hands. They brought some very generous gifts with them to give to the baby. When the wise men came in the house where Jesus was and worshipped him, they laid these precious gifts at his feet. They gave him gifts because they knew that Jesus was God’s great king and they wanted to show him honour. The Bible says that the wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold was the most valuable and beautiful metal they had. Frankincense and myrrh came from special trees and were burned to make sweet-smelling incense. They were both used in the temple in Jerusalem.
Fom Henri Nouwen
“We choose love by taking small steps of love every time there is an opportunity. A smile, a handshake, a word of encouragement, a phone call, a card, an embrace, a kind greeeting, a gesture of support, a moment of attention, a helping hand, a present, a financial contribution, a visit - all these are little steps towards love.”

Write a prayer together
Thank you for ...who showed generosity towards me. Help us to show generosity in how we live our lives.
We pray for whoever will receive this gift. We pray for L’Arche Zimbabwe. Amen






Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Advent 2018 Week One


Advent 2018

 Hand in Hand
       
ADVENT

Anticipation

Desire for the values of our faith tradition

Voices of advent: Isaiah, Gabriel, Mary, John

Expectation

Time, seasons and rhythms of the year,

moving from ‘ordinary’ time to ‘Christmas’

Advent Song
Come Lord Jesus by Carey Landry

Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus;
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Come, O Prince of Peace.
Come, O Prince of Peace.
Come, O Prince of Peace;
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Hearts are open
Hearts are open
Hearts are open
Come, and be born in our hearts.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, Immanuel.
Come, and be born in our hearts.

Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come, Lord Jesus;
Come, and be born in our hearts



In the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus, Matthew begins before the wise men, or the star, or the miracles and parables – by putting him in the context of his  family line. He gives a symbolically patterned genealogy stretching back to Abraham, showing that Jesus’ arrival fits in with God’s whole plan for Israel and the world beyond.
Luke goes back even further, giving a fuller description back to Adam, and God, and then telling the story of Jesus’ baby cousin John, before we even meet Mary and the angel.
 
Both are saying to their original readers: ‘Look! This isn’t out of the blue. It’s been a long time in the planning. God’s long-awaited blueprint for a better world is finally being rolled out!’
That’s why many Christian churches start the countdown to Christmas four weeks before, with Advent. We get ready to celebrate Jesus, reminding ourselves of the bigger plan he is a part of, and of how much the world was anticipating him even before his birth.


Week One Theme : Solidarity



                                                                           
Light the candle

Song

Reflection






Reading
Matthew 1:23
Matthew 25:35-40















Pray


Come, Lord Jesus. 

Sit quietly and let your hands rest in your lap
Look at your hands and think of all they have done during the day
What have they done for ourselves and others
Look at the picture of ‘hands in solidarity’ and join hands around the table.

How do we show solidarity? In our home, community, in our world

John 1:14, reads, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
God showed his solidarity with us by becoming human. “ ‘Behold, the virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Emmanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ ” (Matthew 1:23 LEB)

God is with us, right here, right now, God is dwelling among us. In the moment when God becomes flesh, God is with us in a more profound way than ever before. Jesus took on the form of a person in order to forever bond the spiritual and physical—to bridge the gap. It was his humanity that allowed us to directly relate as a human. God and human among us.
Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me;
I was in prison and you visited me. “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you? “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

From Henri Nouwen
“Here is the great challenge: All people, whatever their colour, religion, or sex belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this” (February 4 )

Write a prayer together
Thank you God for sending Jesus who became one of us.
...who showed solidarity with us.
We pray for whoever will receive the gifts we give and know that we join in solidarity with them. We pray for the work of Murri Ministry. Amen