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,