Our July sermon series, “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask,” continues this week with the question, “What Do You Need?” There have been occasions in my life when I’ve been asked that question and I’ve responded, “I have no idea!” I imagine that’s an experience common to many of us. While it’s sometimes difficult to identify our own needs at times, we know that we all have them. They might be smaller needs that crop up over the course of our normal days or they might be larger, deeper needs related to crises or events in our own lives, the lives of our loved ones or even the shared life of our global community and the world. What we know for certain about need is that we need each other. How does this week’s question invite us to lean in with curiosity and openness in order to strengthen the connections between us? How does this question invite vulnerability and open heartedness in relationship? What are scriptural examples of those in need and the people around them who responded in an effort to help? We’ll spend time with Job in the First Testament and Paul in the Epistles as we explore this question together.
The video that companions this week is offered by Rev. Remington Johnson, an ordained Presbyterian minister and healthcare chaplain. With warmth and humor she guides us through the challenges and opportunities that emerge when we ask the question…What Do You Need?
It was wonderful to be back in the sanctuary this past Sunday! Just a reminder that our new worship time is 10:00am. We continue to ask that all wear a mask indoors to best protect our unvaccinated beloveds, namely our children. Our Worship Watch Party, with some pre-recorded elements and some live elements, will continue through August 1st. If all goes well, we will return to a fully live service in the sanctuary on August 8th with livestream available for those at home.
I’m looking forward to being with you on Sunday as we worship God, explore our faith, and gather in the Loving Spirit!
Job 2:11-13 (NRSV)
Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud; they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.
2 Timothy 4:9-18 (NRSV)
Do your best to come to me soon, for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Questions to consider:
- Share a memory of a time someone extended care for you. What did they do and how did it make you feel?
- What has been your experience of the difference between sympathy and empathy?
- Share a memory of a time you tried to extend care for someone else, but didn’t give them what they needed. What do you wish you could have changed about that experience?
- What is your love language? (The five love languages are: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts and acts of service.) Name a time when you have experienced this type of love and connection.
- Share about a time you needed help, but didn’t ask for it. What do you wish you could have changed about that experience?
- What’s a gift (tangible or intangible) you’ve received that you’ll never forget?
Questions modified from Sanctified Art’s series “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You…” | sanctifiedart.org