Fellowship Group, Week 2
Gathered in Christ’s Name: “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20)
Center your attention on Christ who is gathering your Fellowship Group together. Slowly read Matthew 18:18-20. Silently hold this passage and any openings in the Light of God’s truth and grace.
The daily devotionals this week continued the focus on Friends being “Gathered in Christ.” Take a few minutes to review the readings and any journal notes you may have taken. Ask the group: What fresh insights have you gained from this week’s devotional readings? Which queries were the most meaningful to you? What action steps did you undertake this week? Allow enough time for every participant to speak.
Ask a member to read this week’s group reflection:
A few years ago a dear friend suffered a significant heart attack. This was surprising because he did not fit the profile of someone suffering from heart disease. He was young, trim, and fit; he had an easygoing temperament; he lived an active life and exercised often. For my friend, this crisis was a warning as to how external appearances may conceal a hidden medical threat. It led to positive changes as he started to pay attention to his heart health. Likewise, this 40 Days of Prayer is a way for Friends, individually and corporately, to pay attention to their spiritual heart health.
Today’s Gathering Passage (Matthew 18:18-20) speaks of the vital promise of Christ’s presence when we gather in his name, “there am I.” Christ’s direct and active presence in the midst of the gathered community is at the heart of Friends faith and witness. This is the promise that made the heart of George Fox leap for joy. This promise continues to capture the imaginations of Friends, shape the ways Friends worship, and is the source of our strength and courage as we seek to be salt and light to the world.
The Gathering Passage also speaks of things that are “bound” and things that need to be “loosed.” While the context deals with the difficult issue of eldering those who sin within the fellowship, “binding” and “loosing” may also be a way for Christ to tend to our heart health. Binding is an act of healing. Loosing is a process of becoming untangled and liberated. The trepidations and blessings of being gathered in Christ are that the threats capturing our souls or endangering our faith communities are brought into the light. But in Christ’s tender presence we experience healing grace and spiritual freedom.
As your group is gathered in Christ’s presence, consider the following queries. In the spirit of worship allow time between the readings of each query for silent reflection and encourage group sharing. So that rich insights are not lost it may even be helpful for someone to record what is shared:
• What among Friends/FUM/our yearly meeting may need to be bound by Christ’s healing grace?
• What spiritual threats or entanglements among Friends/FUM our yearly meeting may Christ need to loose
and set free?
• What in our church/meeting/worship group may need to be bound by Christ’s healing grace?
• What spiritual threats or entanglements in our church/meeting/worship group may Christ need to loose and
• What in me may need to be bound by Christ’s healing grace?
• What spiritual threats or entanglements in me may Christ need to loose and set free?
For the last few minutes of your Fellowship Group, invite members to share concerns and praises. Close the meeting in mutual support and prayer for one another.