Nov 24th to Nov 30th: Being the Beloved

Reading:  Being the Beloved

LoBcard“[your name], all I want to say to you is ‘You are the Beloved,’ and all I hope is that you can hear these words  as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold.  My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being – ‘You are the Beloved.” (P30).

1) Has anyone ever told you this before?  You are the beloved of God.
a) What does the word “Beloved” mean to you?
b) What does Henri want to say to you when he says “You Are the Beloved”?
c) Have you been rejecting this truth?  Are you more comfortable with low self-esteem or arrogance?
d) Why might you be more comfortable with low self-esteem or arrogance?  What need might this negative way of being meet for you?

2) This Advent, what can you do practically to create a place “where that quiet voice calling [you] the Beloved [can] be heard?” (P36)
a) What can you do to remove some of the “dry sand” that covers the well?
b) What might help you to hear the voice of God’s love for you?
INVITATION:  Please share some words from the Holy Scriptures through which God speaks words of love and affirmation to you (refer also to page 36 where Henri did this).

3) Henri, with all of his love and passion, is pleading with us to claim the truth of our Belovedness as our core truth.
a) Have you been tempted, in the past, to look someone or something else to affirm you?  Or tell you of your worth?
b) If you were to embrace the truth of your Belovedness today, how might your life change?  What might you be free to do, be, give or receive?
INVITATION:  Imagine the physical core of your body.  Put your hand there.  Now put the truth “You Are the Beloved” firmly in there.  As you go through each day, and encounter loud and persistent negative voices around you or in you, go into your core and claim the truth of your Belovedness.  What is the result?

As always, I offer these questions to help get our discussion going, but please feel free to share whatever comes up for you through the readings/comments of others.


Nov 20th – Nov 23rd: Introductions

Reading: Prologue

A very warm welcome to each of you! Today we begin an Advent journey together, which is sure to be a time of sharing, learning, growth and focus. What makes these discussions so rich is the thoughtful participation of so many people. Thank-you to each of you for being here and sharing with us.

First let me quickly share how the discussion flows. Each Sunday you will discover a new “post,” indicated by the bold title, on the blog’s Home page. This post will have discussion questions based around the week’s readings. It works best if you always add any new comment to the newest post, even if you are referring to an earlier post. That way, everyone will see your comment. After you submit a comment, either Maureen or I need to “approve” it, so it may take a few hours before it actually appears on the blog page. If you have any further questions about how the blog works, please feel free to ask.

The theme of Life of the Beloved is “spiritual living in a secular world.” It is an appropriate topic for Advent – a time when we are invited to stand in awe of Jesus, while the world rushes through one of the most consumer driven times of the year. We look to Henri Nouwen as a teacher and qualified guide, to help us live this season deeply. With that very brief introduction to the discussion, I now ask each of you to introduce yourselves.

1) Please introduce yourself to the group. You may choose to share:
a) Your general geographic location
b) To whom or what you dedicate your days and energy, and why
c) Whether or not you’ve participated in previous book discussions, or if you are joining us for the first time

2) As you read the prologue please take it in as more than a story of how two people met. Hear what Henri was saying to Fred. Imagine yourself in the seat across from Henri. Feel his love and passion as he asks you:
a) What do you really want?
b) Is there a dream, a passion or a purpose that God has placed in your heart?
c) Has something held you back from living that purpose?
d) Have you been able to grasp and live your purpose? How?

These question are meant to help get us started in our discussion, however please always feel free to share whatever comes up for your through the readings or comments of others.

Looking forward to a great Advent together,