Open Doors, open Hearts, open Leadership

Journeying together on the Way of Discipleship

In this series of Lent Addresses Dean of Melbourne, the Very Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, will be reflecting on our own journeys of discipleship as people who are called, equipped, nurtured and sent out by Jesus Christ.

The weekly reflections centre on Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians.

 


1 March 2020 – First Sunday in Lent: Open Doors

In the same way in which scent spreads freely, all of us who are believers share the same ministry, Paul encourages us. He tells us that all of us have a valuable ministry to exercise to help spread the good news. All of us who are believers – regardless of our gender, cultural background, social status, education or anything else that separates people from one another – all of us have a call and a mission.

Begin your Study by reading 2 Corinthians 2.12-17

Watch Dean Andreas’ Address:

Read the sermon here: Lent 1 Address

Consider the following Study Questions:

  • Does Christ call you to be a ‘door opener’, someone who keeps watch at the fringes of faith to show others that the door to God stands wide open for them? If so, what would you do to help push open the doors of your place of worship?
  • Does Christ call you to be someone who spreads wide the ‘aroma of Christ’ by telling the story of faith, someone who listens carefully and kindly to the questions about faith that those who have just walked through the doors of faith might ask? If so, how might you use your gifts of listening and sharing?
  • Or does Christ call you to be someone who is restless unless they stand in God’s presence in prayer? Someone who speaks words of intercession, prayers of sincerity and trust for the ministry of this place? If so, how could you exercise your ministry of prayer?

Share in Prayer:

  • Pray about how you might enrich the life of your worshiping community.
  • Pray about who Christ calls you to be and become.
  • Pray that your intercession may rise before God like fragrant incense.

Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that you call women, men and children to know you and love you. Open the doors of our places of worship to all who search for you. Open the doors of our hearts to your word so that we may know you. Open our lives to you so that we may follow where you lead us. For you are alive and gift life, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

 


8 March 2020 – Second Sunday in Lent: Open Minds

Begin your Study by reading 2 Corinthians 3.1-3, 12-18

Watch Dean Andreas’ Address:

Read the sermon here: Lent 2 Address

Consider the following Study Questions:

  • How do we reflect God to others?
  • How do we make sure that what we do and speak reflects the vision that God has for this world, and for each individual to flourish and grow?
  • Are there habits you may want to take up (or lay down) in order to be more generous, more loving, kinder and more gracious to others?
  • How do we carry ourselves before God, and how do we carry others in our hearts?
  • How do we ensure that our lives of faith are nurtured and resourced?
  • Are we open to God’s presence in our lives and do we spend sufficient time with God, by prayer and the study of the Scriptures?
  • Do we care sufficiently for ourselves so that we can be enabled better to care for others?
  • How do we become a letter of Christ?
  • What does it take to continually be an effective letter of Christ?
  • How do we make sure that nothing we do is done ‘in a corner’, that our interactions are transparent and clear, that our faith is open, inviting and inclusive?
  • Are there things we need to learn or reflect on, in order to be more confident in our ability to bring the good news to others?

Share in Prayer:

  • Pray about how you might mirror God’s love to you in your own love of others.
  • Pray that you may be given open hearts to bring people before God in prayer.
  • Pray that you may be given an open mind as you share your faith with others.

 


15 March 2020 – Third Sunday in Lent: Open Hearts

Begin your Study by reading 2 Corinthians 3.1-3, 12-18

Watch Dean Andreas’ Address:

Read the sermon here: Lent 3 Address

Consider the following Study Questions:

  • How do we take seriously those who hold a faith different from our own and at the same time proclaim our own belief in Christ (as Paul did)?
  • In what ways can we be ambassadors of Christ (being God’s tents of presence) to those around us?
  • What does it take for us to speak of our faith with respect and understanding?
  • What will it cost you personally to faithfully share your faith in Jesus Christ?
  • How may we open our hearts to God?
  • What things do we need to shut down in our lives to enable us to open our hearts to God?
  • How may the ‘tents of our bodies’ become temples of God?
  • How may we come to know God’s grace in our daily lives more profoundly?
  • How may we reflect in our lives the reality of heaven?
  • What virtues, what patterns of life, do you need to foster in sharing with other Christians in building up of God’s kingdom in our communities?

Share in Prayer:

  • Pray that you may live out being God’s tents of presence in daily.
  • Pray that your heart may be open to be used by God.
  • Pray that you may daily be a good and faithful ambassador of Jesus Christ.

22 March 2020 – Fourth Sunday in Lent: Open Community

Begin your Study by reading 2 Corinthians 9.6-15

Watch Dean Andreas’ Address:

Read the Sermon Here: Lent 4 Address

 

 


29 March 2020 – Fifth Sunday in Lent

Lazarus: What would you do with the gift of a new life?

Please note that the readings for Sunday 29 March have changed.

Begin your Study by reading John 11.1-45

Watch Dean Andreas’ Address: 

Some Background:
St. John chose to record at least seven miracles in his gospel account that prove that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God (see John 20:30) – seven miracles that produce faith in readers. In the first six, we see his power over the physical aspects of life, including the human body, the natural elements, time and space, and even food and drink. But in each case Jesus also demonstrated that his purposes went beyond the physical to the spiritual. In the raising of Lazarus the Lord revealed his power by reaching beyond this life and touching death and the afterlife—territory that belongs only to God.

Consider the following Study Questions:

  • Q1. At the beginning and the end of his sermon, the Dean posed the question: “What would you do with the gift of a new life?” How do you respond to this question?
  • Q2. In John 11:25-26 Jesus said the famous words: “I am the resurrection and the life, those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” What do you think these words mean?
  • Q3. It was after saying the words in verses 25-26 that John records that Jesus wept (verse 35). In the light of all that Jesus had said and done, why do you think that Jesus wept?
  • Q4. In what way(s) was the new life received by Lazarus different from the life promised by Jesus in verse 25? In what way(s) was it similar?
  • Q5. How are we to understand new life in the 21st century? In what way(s) is the raising of Lazarus a sign for us today (11:40 – 44)?
  • Q6. When Jesus was first told of Lazarus’s illness, he said: “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (11:4). How was Lazarus’s illness for God’s glory? Are tragedies such as this ever for God’s glory today? How? Can you give examples?
  • Q7. In his sermon the Dean said that “Lazarus became a witness to Jesus’ authority and power among the people of God, testifying by his own new life that Jesus was indeed God’s Son”. The Dean also gave the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as one witnessed powerful for Jesus. As receivers of eternal life (John 3:16), how do we – how should we be “witnesses to Jesus” today? In practical terms, how do we live this out?

Spend some time in prayer together at the end of the study

 

To join our online study group on Sundays at 11.15am please send your email details to: welcome@stpaulscathedral.org.au

 

⚠️ Public worship and visiting suspended from Monday 23 March 2020Read More
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