April 15, 2021
Rebecca Wheeler-Waltson invites us to locate ourselves in the story of Nehemiah and how it plays out in ways that’s familiar with what’s currently happening in our country [Nehemiah 2:1-8].
- Where would you place yourself in this account? As the exiled? The emperor? Or an eyewitness?
- As you ponder what's happening in this country today (anti Asian hate, Darin Chauvin trial), can you see the exiled, the emperor, the eyewitnesses? What response is the Spirit stirring in you?
April 8, 2021
On Easter Sunday, Weylin Lee reflects on how the unexpected nature of Jesus’ resurrection invites us towards groundedness and good news [John 20:1-18].
- How have we been accompanied in the losses we have experienced?
- How are we invited to a path of healing and restoration that Jesus offers?
- What restorative work are we being invited to participate in?
- Reflect on losses and accompaniment. Hold space for both the unexpected losses and the ways you were accompanied. Write out all the unexpected losses this past year has brought. List the names of those who have accompanied you in them.
- Observe the gardens around us. Notice and observe the gardens and natural landscape around us. Sit with and reflect on the restoration that is happening through our plants. How are we invited to a path of healing and restoration that Jesus offers us?
- Film: Feels Good Man
March 31, 2021
Rachael Clinton Chen reflects on the groaning work of God as we enter Holy Week and how we’re invited to look for Jesus in our story of ache [Mark 15:25-39].
- Will you let Jesus, the Messiah, enter your ache this Holy Week?
- Where hope feels weary or foolish, will you let God (and others) groan with you and for you?
- Instagram: @aapi.liturgy
March 23, 2021
Sarah Berson reflects on what a new Covenant means for us and how the love of God is available for all of us even in the midst of the challenging year we have been collectively navigating [Jeremiah 31:31-34].
- What grounds you?
- What are you moving from? What are you moving toward?
- Think about the mile markers from this last year. Think of a safe person you can share your year with. Offer to listen to another person's story of what this year has been.
March 16, 2021
Title: Poison and Its Remedy
James Alison reflects on how Jesus’ death undoes the world of sacrifice from within [John 3:14-21].
- Is Jesus’ death really a sacrifice?
- How did Jesus’ death undo our whole world of judgment and condemnation built on sacrifice?
- The little word “so” in the most famous verse in the Bible has two possible meanings. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son”. Or “For God loved the world in this way: that he gave his only Son”. Which do you think John meant, and why?
March 10, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how even though we typically fast and deny our body during Lent, we might also be invited to connect with our bodies and practice embodiment to connect with God [John 2:13-22].
- How are you invited to embody disruption towards injustice this Lent?
- What are the "thin places" you can explore and experiment with this Lent?
- Embodying disruption. Make space and sit with our deeper responses to injustice. How might we embody disruption that’s in alignment with God’s heart for the oppressed? How might we give space to our anger to disrupt unhealthy patterns and injustice?
- Explore “thin places”. Experiment and explore what the thin places are for you in experiencing God's presence. Discover God's embodied presence in people and places we haven't considered before.
March 4, 2021
Matt Inman reflects on how disorientation invites us to create space to honor both our hardship and a deepening gratitude and love. Erin Inman and Jason Ikpatt also share reflections from their own experiences [Mark 8:29-33].
- What experiences do you find most difficult to validate or legitimize?
- Where were you most surprised by where love or connection showed up for you this past week?
February 18, 2021
Weylin Lee reflects on how Jesus' transfiguration invites us to transformation and change as we enter this season of Lent [Mark 9:2-9].
- How might you be invited to expand your symbols of God?
- How is listening to Jesus being embodied in your life?
- How are you being invited to sit in the paradox of wholeness and woundedness?
- Expanding our symbols for God. Use a different image or word to refer to and connect with God. How does this new image or word expand the container you’ve placed God inside?
- Listening to Jesus exercise. Read the Gospels during Lent and pay attention to what Jesus said and did. Use a different translation or listen to the text. In your listening, wrestle with and discern how to embody his words and actions.
- Book: Wearing God (Lauren Winner)
February 11, 2021
Judy Peterson reflects on how the incarnation of Jesus invites us to live our faith in an embodied way [Luke 7:11-22].
- What do you long to see made manifest in this world?
- When was the last time you were moved from your innermost being and how did you respond?
February 2, 2021
Title: True Authority
Kelly Cutbirth reflects on how Jesus modeled another way of authority and how we’re invited to embody this truer way of authority as we lead and follow others [Mark 1:21-28].
- What ideas about authority am I being invited to let go of?
- How can I use my authority to care for and restore freedom to others?
- Authority grounded in love. Practice caring by writing a note to a leader whose authority has inspired you. Or, as a leader, write a note to someone who follows your authority letting them know you care about them.
- Authority restoring freedom. Next time you’re overwhelmed by an emotion, try taking three long belly breaths. See if you can restore some of your freedom.
- Video: Ted Lasso
January 28, 2021
James Alison reflects on how the good news of God is God’s own self and the invitation for us to repent which is meant to soften our hearts [Mark 1:14-20].
- Why does the good news of God have anything to do with repentance?
- Why Galilee? Why fishers? And why brothers?
January 19, 2021
Jane Patterson reflects on how we might practice courageous speaking and listening that makes space for discerning God's truth and guidance in these times of difficult conversations [1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-20].
- What do you know from your own experience of courageous speaking: what factors help others listen to you?
- What do you know from your own experience of courageous listening: what makes it harder to listen? What helps you listen?
- If you could write a letter to the future about the times we are living through, what wisdom would you want to hand down?
January 14, 2021
As we enter a new year, Weylin Lee reflects on what our invitation is toward a new way of being and experiencing transformation [Mark 1:4-11].
- What area of your life is in need of truth-telling?
- How are you invited to consent to God's unconditional love in this year?
- Confession. Acknowledge your choice of deception over truth. Invite yourself to return to the original goodness God created you with. How can you sit in the tension of those two things this week as you reflect on what's happening in our world and what's happening within you?
- Examine your discomfort. Examine the moments and seasons of discomfort that you have encountered. Be curious about how the Spirit might be inviting us to change and transformation in that discomfort.
- Podcast: On Being (Louis Newman)
MWG Discussion Questions
- What facilitates spaces of truth-telling for ourselves? When have you experienced a meaningful moment of truth-telling?
- How might the experiences and seasons of discomfort be opening opportunities for change and transformation? Why might it be difficult to recognize the Spirit’s work in those moments?
- How has your understanding and practice of repentance and confession been driven by guilt and shame? How might God’s unconditional love and our invitation back to our original goodness change our experience of repentance and confession?
January 6, 2021
Jeff Chu reflects on God's grace and how our gratitude for that grace is the driving force for whatever work we do in the world [Isaiah 61].
- Where do you see evidence of God's grace in your life?
- How can you cultivate a discipline of holy gratitude?
- Spend time in the presence of oak trees. Reflect on God's craftsmanship and grace that allows oaks to grow. Reflect on how oaks can survive in isolation, but they thrive in community and how that informs our invitation to live a life of righteousness and justice together in community.
- Book: The Hebrew Bible
December 31, 2020
Weylin Lee reflects on the hope of restoration as we come to the end of this heavy year through the contemplative practice of Lectio Divina [Isaiah 61:10-62:3].
- In light of this past year, what are the things we hope for in this coming year?
- How might we be open to a new way of being?
- Photos: Year in Photos (NY Times)
- Lectio Divina
December 23, 2020
As we continue in the Advent season, Matt Inman reflects on the Christmas story from the perspective of Mary and how we are invited to be grounded and not overlook the divine in our lives [Luke 1:26-38].
- Where in your life does love tend to get overlooked in your life?
- What memory of Christmas sticks out to you as loving and intimate? How did love grow in your life to help make such a beautiful moment come into being?
- Where do you find yourself managing acceptance and reflection in your life right now? Notice what stories and emotions come up for you.
- Pick an aspect of life you struggle accepting and work through Tolle's suggestion of doing on oof the three actions: 1. Remove it (let it go) 2. Change it 3. Fully embrace it (accept it)
December 16, 2020
As we continue in the Advent season, Weylin Lee reflects on the things that God is and has been revealing about ourselves and others and God this past year [John 1:6-8, 19-23].
- What are the glimpses of divine light we have seen even in our moments of darkness?
- How might we live more from our authentic self and embrace who God has made us to be?
- What are the voices we are hearing that are crying out in the margins for God's justice and mercy?
- Lighting candles. Gather some tea light candles. Remember the glimpses of hope and comfort and guidance that you experienced in darkness. Light a candle for each glimpse of comfort.
- Reflection of personal actions. Examine an action or choice or decision that involved other people. “Was I living out of my ego or was I living out of my rooted and fully loved authentic self?”
MWG Discussion Questions
- What has this past year revealed to you about yourself and the world around you? What was expected? What was unexpected?
- What has been a glimpse of divine light in your experiences this past year? How have you seen God’s comfort, guidance and hope in the moments of darkness?
- How has the pandemic removed the exterior layers that we tend to live from? What parts of your authentic self has been revealed to you this past year? How have you been holding the tension of living out of who God has made you to be?
December 10, 2020
As we continue in the Advent season, Nic Acosta reflects on what it means to experience the deep comfort that God promises [Isaiah 40:1-5].
- What kind of comfort do we long for?
- What would it take to live as though our lives are God’s home, and to consider God as the most hospitable, comforting host?
- Compile a list of what God’s comfort means to you. List reflections under one column for “What is comfort in God like?" and another column for "What keeps me from this comfort?
- Song: Come On Up to the House (Tom Waits)
December 3, 2020
As we start the season of Advent, James Alison reflects on what the Holy Spirit is seeking to prepare us in this season [Mark 13:33-37].
- What did Jesus mean by talking about a “coming” and then setting up a parable about a “going”?
- Why is it so difficult for us to understand the ancient Hebrew way in which the Prophet is not so much asking for some blanket forgiveness from God, but begging God to make possible a human way of finding ourselves able to forgive and be forgiven – even blaming God for God’s failure to do that so far?