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SESSION 5: Some who doubted

 

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Matthew 28:16-20

 

Reflection:

We had followed him, heard him, seen him do wonderful things.  But there came a point where we just couldn’t go any further with him.  It wasn’t where we were at.  We didn’t want to go there.  It was too risky. It meant too much commitment. No.  Not for us.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

Have you ever felt like those who doubted 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 those who doubted.  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:

 

Jesus Prayer:  The Jesus Prayer is one of the most-used prayers of Christendom, particularly in Orthodox Christianity.  The prayer is repeated over and over again until it becomes as natural as breathing.  It can be a prayer of confession, a prayer of adoration, a prayer of intercession.  Orthodox Christians believe that it contains the whole of theology and the whole of prayer.  There are a number of variants, but try this one, unless you already use another version:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us.

Spent 5-10 minutes, saying this prayer to yourself over and over.  Find a rhythm as you say it.  Just concentrate on the prayer.  Choose someone who will keep an eye on the time and say the prayer out loud as a way of ending your prayer together. 

 

In a time of shared prayer, bring before God the people and situations about whom you are concerned.  Ask God to have mercy, e.g. “Have mercy on Susan who is having chemotherapy”, “have mercy on Darren, who has been made redundant”, etc.  Allow 5-10 minutes.

 

For the times when we would rather not believe,

Lord, have mercy.

For the times when faith is too demanding,

Lord, have mercy.

For the times when fear rules our hearts,

Lord, have mercy.

 

For the times when questions are the only way forward,

Lord, have mercy.

For the times when our doubts are another step in our believing,

Lord, have mercy.

For the little glimmer of light in the darkness,

Lord, have mercy.

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