Lenten Online Devotionals – Wednesdays with Rev. Katie Newsome
Lent Study Book – “Reckless Love” by Tom Berlin
Here’s the Lenten Study Guide for Session 4
Lenten Study Guide
First United Methodist Church of Rockwall
Session 4: Openhearted Love
March 25, 2020
- Opening Activity
- What is a historic site or museum you’ve visited that made an emotional impact on you, and why?
- The work of turning emotional impact into practical action that helps us grow in love for our neighbors and for God
- Opening Prayer
- Book Discussion
- First, what in this chapter most interested or challenged you and why?
- According to Berlin, overcoming bias and prejudice about gender and race is “foundational” in fulfilling the command to love God and neighbor. Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Berlin relates an incident from his mission trip to Mexico that challenged a stereotype about Mexicans. Talk about a time when your ideas about a group of people were challenged. How did you respond? How does that incident influence your attitudes and actions today?
- Berlin spends much of Chapter 4 discussing his attempts to understand racism in his home state of Virginia and his efforts to come to terms with prejudice in his family’s and his own past. How has prejudice been a part of your family’s story? How has it been a part of your personal past? What steps, if any, have you taken to address prejudice’s presence in your past and its continuing effects?
- Bible Study
- John 4:4-30, 40
- When your heart is closed to a whole race of people,” writes Berlin, “you will go out of your way to avoid them, even if it means the long way home to Galilee.” Who are “Samaritans” in your life you have gone (or still go) out of your way to avoid? Have you ever surprised others or yourself by engaging with them, as Jesus engaged with the woman at the well?
- The Samaritans’ invitation to Jesus likely “agitated” the prejudices they held about Jews (verse 40). In your own experience, when have you seen one loving encounter help others happen?
- 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
- What character traits and qualifications are important for being a good ambassador? How are they like and/or unlike what is needed to be a good ambassador for Christ?
- What does reconciliation with God mean (verse 20)? What does it look like in practical, everyday ways? What’s the connection between being reconciled to God and to our neighbor?
- Berlin considers Christ’s appeal for reconciliation in the context of our society’s need for racial reconciliation. How does racial reconciliation demonstrate “the righteousness of God” (verse 21)?
- In what other areas of society, in addition to race and gender, is reconciliation needed? What are you doing to be Christ’s ambassador in those areas?
- John 4:4-30, 40
- Final Discussion
- Who is hard to Love?
- What’s holding me back?
- Closing Activity—Four Spiritual Practices
- Acts of Reconciliation
- Prayer Requests & Closing Prayer
For next week, read Chapter 5: Value the Vulnerable]
Any questions or need more info – contact, Rev. Katie Newsome
Lent Sermon Series: Reckless Love
As Jesus teaches us how to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we learn that we love God more deeply by learning how to love our neighbor. In Reckless Love, we will consider how to follow the Greatest Commandment and learn how our love for the people around us can completely renew our faith and give us a new experience of loving God. Join us this Lenten season as we discover how becoming a better neighbor leads us into the deep and loving relationship we strive to have with God.
Lent Missions 2020
First UMC Rockwall: Heroes Of Hope – empowering families & victims of domestic violence to break the cycles of poverty & abuse
Women In Need – Rockwall/Greenville
Dress for Success – Donate Women’s Shoes, Accessories, Jewelry
Interfaith Family Services of Dallas
Raising funds to help empower families in crisis to break the cycle of poverty.
Holy Week 2020 – We are currently working out a new plan for Holy Week – Stay tuned
Easter Egg Hunt| April 5 – Egg Hunt is canceled – Here’a link to our new Eggstension Project
Palm Sunday | April 5
Maundy Thursday | April 9
Good Friday | April 10
Easter Sunday | April 12