Friends, we have just finished Adam Hamilton's book "Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times" Our next study is "Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church" For those who didn't get a book before the pandemic...it looks like this. You can purchase it online. (there is also the same book with a blue cover. It's the same book. The green one was updated in light of the May Special Conference of 2019) Green is better, but either one that is available is suitable.
To allow enough time for people to get the book, we are reflecting on a list of daily scriptures that speak about being unafraid. Monday April 20th starts the list, and when we arrive at our online zoom discussion on Sunday...we can reflect on what spoke to us during the previous weeks readings.
Daily Scripture Readings:
4/20 Deuteronomy 31:6
4/21 Joshua 1:9
4/22 Psalm 3
4/23 Psalm 56
4/24 Proverbs 3:25-26
4/25 Isaiah 12
4/26 Isaiah 41:8-10
Instructions for reading:
Lectio Divina (sacred reading)
1) Find a place where you can be w/o interruption for 10-15 minutes.
2) Begin with a prayer fro gratitude. Recite 5 things your thankful for: in life itself, home, work, what's going on outside your window in creation, etc.
3) Acknowledge before God that your struggling with: fear, worry, or anxiety.
...and pray, "Lord, speak to me as I read these words of scripture. Help me to hear from you"
4) Read the scripture slowly
-make a note of any words or phrases that stand out. Write them down on a notepad
5) Read the scripture again, this time aloud, listening as you read. Reading aloud can help us focus our distracted minds. Make a note of words or phrases that stand out.
6)Pray one last time "Lord, speak to me. I'm listening" and read the passage a third time either silently or in a whisper.
7) finally, pray again but use the words or thoughts from the words that caught your attention. Claiming the same faith that the biblical author had in expressing these thoughts, but now as your own faith. Ponder at various points in the day how God may use these words/thoughts to continue to speak to you. End with words like "Lord, I belong to you. Keep me safe in your arms. Help me to remember you are always by my side. Amen"