The Story of Two Sons and Their Father (p 1-2)
Prologue (p 3-15)
Welcome to a new week! The Parable, the Prologue, and the Introduction of this book offer a great deal to reflect on. Please feel free to share whatever came up for you through the readings. You may also choose to reflect on some of the questions below:
1) For Henri Nouwen, Rembrandt’s painting is a window through which he can step into the Kingdom of God. As you read the parable of the prodigal son, take in Rembrant’s painting and listen to Henri’s story:
b) Can you see areas where you have been the younger son? …the elder son? …the father?
c) Do you sense a calling to enter the mystery of homecoming in a way you never have before? What excites you about this prospect and what scares you?
2) In reflecting on the painting, Henri says seeing “… the old man’s hands—as they touched the boy’s shoulders that reached me in a place where I had never been reached before” (p4).
a) How have you been touched by the hand of the Father in your life? How did your life change?
3) Henri was given a very unique opportunity to view this painting, an experience which God used in a profound way to invite him and many others home.
a) Can you recognize ways that God has gone to great lengths to arrange details, circumstances and experiences (including painful ones) in such a way as to draw you home?
b) How might these experiences of your life also be used to draw others home?
4) Henri very honestly explains that “certainly there were many hours of prayer, many days and months of retreat, and countless conversations with spiritual directors, but I had never fully given up the role of bystander” (p 12)
a) What do you think keeps you in the role of bystander, instead of taking the next step towards being in the center of God’s love and plan for you?
b) What if you decided to take one step closer to the center? What would that look like?
We very much look forward to hearing from each of you this week!
Ray and Brynn