"Removing Hindrances" was the title of Doreen's sermon. The two passages from John's Gospel she referenced have Jesus identifying himself as the living water or the water of life. But the main story she told was from the Old Testament about 3 kings who formed an alliance against another king, and when they conquered the king's army, they filled in the kingdom's wells and covered the fields with stones. She invited us to enter into this story in a metaphorical and spiritual way, having us consider those things, both externally and internally, that act as stones which stop up our spiritual wells. She named a number of things that work to hinder the flow of Jesus' living water in and through us.
Ideas for chat -
What "stones" have worked to stop up your "spiritual well?" Have these stones come from outside of you or inside you (in other words, are these stones from outside circumstances or yourself or both)? What makes the living water flow again?
"Are Hope and Endurance a Team?" was the title for the talk given by Paula & Jim Yingst at the Sanctuary Service. Basing her comments on Romans 5:1-5 ("we boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us...") Paula recounted her long and challenging journey of recovery from the time she fell and broke her neck. She began her talk with a question, which had to do with the relationship between endurance and hope. Does enduring create hope, or does hope help one endure? She said that each of us had to answer that question for herself. She decided from her own experience that enduring her suffering with God's grace, the persistent care of others, and her own determination, produced the hope she now claims.
Ideas for chat -
In Paul's letter to the Romans, he boasts in his sufferings because out of them came endurance, character, and a hope that doesn't disappoint. Have you come to the same conclusion through your own personal "sufferings?" Did enduring that suffering produce any hope you now have or did your hope produce the ability to endure the suffering? What's the relationship you see between endurance and hope?
Two thought-provoking presentations this last Sunday. What do you want to chat about?