Advent I: Floods of Mercy

Sunday's Reflection Questions:

What is the chaos in your life? Where does God need to do a creative and ordering work?

Some things need to be washed away in order to make room for new life.  What things need to be washed awayfor you to move forward into alignment with God’s purposes?

Baptism is about discipleship and community.  What role do these play in your faith journey?

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 This Week’s Text: Romans 6.3-4

Additional Texts: Galatians 20.19-20Genesis 1.1-57.18-22

Additional Study: Flood Stories from Diffferent Civilizations

Teaching LinkFloods of Mercy

Downloadable group discussion sheet: .pdf

The beginning of the scripture text involves God's creative action and water.  What are your associations with water?  Are they good, happy associations, or fearful ones?  Can you identify with an ancient culture's association of water with chaos and confusion?

 In these first five verses of Genesis, God creates light out of darkness, order out of chaos.  What learnings or applications can we draw from the text?  

Water is at the same time a force for incredible good and incredible destruction.  List the positive, life-giving aspects/uses of water and the destructive potential that water holds.  What insight can we draw from this regarding dualism in life and nature? (life/death, male/female, etc.)

The story of Noah is a tragic account of the alienation of God and his creation.  Why do you think that we sentimentalize Biblical stories like this, avoiding the darker elements?  What impact does this have on the way people interact with the scripture?

Baptism brings the "waters of death" and the "waters of life" together in one symbolic image.  We are baptized into the death of Jesus.  What are implications of this?  We are washed and raised unto new life.  What are the implications of this?  Which one of these images resonate more clearly with you?  With those you interact with on a daily basis?

Read and discuss the questions at the top of this page.