#BIGRead14: Week 1: Gatherings

Prayer

Bible Readings

1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 The greatest of these is Love

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing The core overlapping theme that we’ll see this week is the constant breath of God through prayer

Nibbles:

Clarify if the group understands what Lent is: Lent is the season running up to Easter, traditionally a time of reflection, a deliberate focus on God, and a chance to re-examine what matters most. What do you associate with Lent? What have you given up, ‘failed’ to give up, or taken up – this year or in the past? Have you felt that you have learned from any of these things in the past – the failures as well as the successes?

Leader: Read out the intro from ‘Gatherings’

In the book: p17-18

Online:  http://j.mp/BIGRead14-Gatherings On the first day of Lent, let us orientate ourselves to God. What does it mean to intentionally focus on love, especially God’s love? We are keen that this Lent you not focus on giving up, but taking up a deeper relationship with God.

Main: What does love mean?

  1. Look online for famous statements about love, and discuss how love seems to be represented in our culture (e.g.):
    1. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/love
    2. http://www.sheknows.com/love-and-sex/articles/955193/top-50-famous-love-quotes
    3. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_love.html
    4. Discuss: If love was a colour, what would it look like to you?

Read this week’s Bible readings. 1. What Biblical examples of love can the group think of? Feel free to use mobile devices to search e.g. http://j.mp/Christianity-love!

  • Instagram Bible verses to share with others tagged with #bigread14

2. Listen to this weeks poem and watch Stephen Cherry’s reflections

3. Hear the reflection from Maria Rodrigues:

4. What do you see in the poem? How might it help us to love (drawing upon the breath of God)? How do you respond to it?

5. Discuss whether it is possible to pray without ceasing? Do we keep coming back to God?

  • It may be useful to think about on a yacht – you keep focused on your destination, but have to make constant adjustments to the compass point.

Chilled Dessert:

An opportunity to pray for someone who needs to know the breath of God. Names can be said aloud or into the silence, and consider whether to light a night-light as each name is committed. Leader to top and tail with the prayers

“God, light of the world, pray for your living breath to breathe on the places/people we name.” “Father, may the light of your love shine out in these places and in these lives.”

What does it mean to focus on God in the moment, without distraction?

Chox:

In the week ahead, commit yourself to focusing on this love, using the poem, Bible verses, a song, the collect from the BCP, or choose your own. Consider placing your chosen writings and place it on your bathroom mirror so that you see it the beginning/end of each day, or text yourself the verse. Some ideas:

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