In your comments, feel free to address some or all of the questions presented.
You are also free to discuss the devotional reading outside of the study guide questions.
Sunday questions are from the study guide supplied by Brethren Press.
1. What moments this past week fostered a sense of fear, uncertainty, or dis-ease?
2. Where did you sense God’s presence and peace this week?
1. Read Zephaniah 3:14-17. What stood out to you in this reading of the text?
2. John Lennon is quoted as saying, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Do you believe that? Why, or why not?
3. If you are a parent, how do you deal with your fears for your children?
4. In this passage, the remnant is restored—not to the way things were, but to a new future. How does this passage encourage you to move ahead after all the loss associated with the pandemic? Can you joyfully anticipate the future, even if it’s different from a beloved past?
5. Verse 15b in The Voice paraphrase says: “The True King of Israel, the Eternal One, is standing right here among you; you have no reason to be afraid ever again.” How does this promise impact your faith?
It takes a lot for me to strip away all the ego-based baggage from both rock stars and saints and see them as equal children of God and nothing else. And yet that's what I believe, hard as it often is. I had forgotten that wonderful Julian quote until you wrote it. So thanks for that reminder, Ellen.
From what I could find in a quick Internet search, John Lennon was raised Anglican (Church of England) and rejected his faith as an adult. There are quotes indicating he saw himself as an agnostic.
One person says his sarcastic humor was on display in the quote you cited. Someone else responded that if such was the case it was a shame, because the notion that all actually will be well in the end is more comforting and pleasing, Even though it's trite, it has a ring of truth to it for me.
I'm not sure if I agree or not with John Lennon's quote, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
On the one hand, it seems a bit trite. When I think of death, life imprisonment, abuse, dissolving a family, slavery, or devastation like so many are suffering from the tornadoes right now--those situations certainly bring an end to one way of living life. There can be a new chapter that is wonderful later on, but there is still an end to something, and that end does not feel okay to those involved. I think the quote is misleading, suggesting that everything always turns out all right in every situation.
On the other hand, many of us hope our ultimate "end" will be eternity in Heaven with the Lord, and that will certainly surpass an "okay" rating. So, with that perspective of heavenly hope, I suppose I can agree with Lennon's quote. I don't know a whole lot about John Lennon's spiritual perspective. Do you think he meant for his quote to refer to heavenly hope?
What stood out to me in this entry was the motherly love of the author rocking her frightened toddler and likening that to God's comforting us. What an exquisitely beautiful and reassuring image!