Questions for Study based on
11 July – “Common time” in the church year – “Wild Goose Chase”
- The message for this Sunday was taken from Paul’s second letter to the Ephesians. Take a few minutes to reread the selection: Ephesians 1:3-14. What first catches your attention about this passage?
- The scripture has a lot going on, but Pr. Murray focused on the promised Holy Spirit. The Bible uses descriptions such as “wind”, “fire” “still small voice” and “dove” when describing the Spirit of God. When you think of the Holy Spirit, what comes to mind?
- Pr. Murray lifted up that idea that the Holy Spirit isn’t “always” gentle and mild. Take a moment and read Mark 1:12. Various translations have a different word for the Spirit sending Jesus into the wilderness. What does your translation say? What does that mean to you?
- We have a tendency to see the acts of the Spirit as controlled. How does it change the Pentecost story if we think of the tongues of flame that appeared as a roaring fire, or dangerous?
- The Celtic Christian tradition describes the Holy Spirit as a Wild Goose: Loud, raucous, demanding, uncontrollable. How does that image change your understanding of the Holy Spirit?
- Pr. Murray introduced two paradoxes in faithfully dealing with the Holy Spirit. The first was that “the Holy Spirit does not come to solve our problems but to create them”. What does that mean to you? Is that scary? Comforting? Both? Why do you think it is a good thing for the Holy Spirit to create problems? When do you do your best faith growth…when everything is easy, or when you find yourself struggling?
- What faith problems do you see in the world around you today? In our community? In our nation?
- Pr. Murray commented that WE want to be comfortable, but the Wild Goose (Holy Spirit) would rather have us be faithful. Which would you prefer and why?
- The second paradox presented was that “the Holy Spirit doesn’t prevent failures but invites it”. (or, to put it in a different way, “the Holy Spirit invites us to find fulfillment and victory in and through our setback and failures”.) What does that mean to you? What value can be found in “failures” or “setbacks”?
- Another metaphor of the Wild Goose image of the Holy Spirit is that wild geese always travel together. What image does that create for you as to the life of the Congregation?