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SESSION 1: the money-changer

 

Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”;    but you are making it a den of robbers.’

Matthew 21:12-13

 

Reflection:

I was only doing my job.  What’s wrong with that? I was doing my best.  Who does he think he is, criticising us by trashing what we do?  We’ve always done it this way. What right has he got to say that my best isn’t what God wants?

 

Questions to ask yourself:

Have you ever felt like the money-changer or had a similar experience?

What happened?

How did the situation develop?

What regrets do you have?

Did anything about the experience bring you a sense of satisfaction?

 

Preparation:

Find something that reflects your experience and the experience of the money-changer.  It could be: a poem, a hymn, a song, a novel or story, another book, a film, a picture or artwork.  Bring it with you to the session, so that you can tell the group what it means for you.

 

Group:

A time for everyone to share their thoughts, memories, experiences and the items they have brought.  Listen carefully and respectfully to what everyone has to say. 

 

Prayers:

 

Examen: In silence, reflect on your church life at present, the things you do.  What are the things that give you joy and energy?  Thank God for his presence with you. What are the things that drag you down? Hold them before God and ask him to help you discern His will.  Allow 5-10 minutes for this.

 

Then, in a time of open prayer together, pray for your church(es) and for the other churches in your area.  Pray for God’s will.  Pray that you will do the things that God wants.  Pray that you will proclaim the good news and help in the building of God’s kingdom.

 

Heavenly Lord,

we thank you for the church you gave us

to be your body in this place.

Send your Holy Spirit on us to inspire and guide us

to do the things you want in the way you want. 

May we show in our lives

the love we receive from you

for all those who live in this community.

In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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