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40 Days of Prayer – Day 5: Gathered in Christ

Fellowship Group, Week 1

Joining Christ in the Deep: “Tell me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28)

Gathering

(15 minutes)

Because this is the first meeting of your Fellowship Group, take a few minutes to tend to several organizational
matters:

• Appoint a group facilitator to coordinate your group’s schedule and guide group conversations.
• Agree on the time and location for future group meetings.
• Allow time for each member to check-in and introduce themselves to the group.

Now center your attention on Christ who is gathering your Fellowship Group together. In the spirit of silent anticipation, invite Christ to come and open fresh insights from today’s Gathering passage. Without commentary or added remarks, simply read Matthew 14:22-33.

Sharing Insights

(15 minutes)

The daily devotionals this week focused on being “Gathered in Christ.” Take a few minutes to review the
readings and any journal notes you may have taken. 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 time for
every member to share.

Group Reflection

(20 minutes)

Ask a member of your group to read the following reflection:

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of summer holidays at the beach. I remember one summer my new friends and I decided to make a swimming pool. With plastic buckets and shovels in hand we labored to dig a large hole in the sand and then rushed to the ocean to bring back buckets of water to fill the pool.

Of course the sand pool leaked and when the tide came in it washed away. While our parents were glad we found a project to exhaust our childish energies, I imagine they were also amused that we invested so much effort building the sand pool when the ocean was in front of us. I wonder if adults have other ways of building sand pools…

To be gathered in Christ is a way for Friends to step out into deeper spiritual waters. Christ’s infinite glory is before us: oceans of mercy, depths of love, breathtaking mysteries, and endless waves of new life, wisdom, and power. He calls us to join him in the deep. Yet, too often, we exhaust ourselves with all kinds of religious activities and labor to build little pools containing mere buckets of the ocean Christ wants us to experience.

The Gathering Passage today (Matthew 14:22-33) tells the wonderful story of Peter walking on the water. Here Jesus issued a single word invitation: “Come.” The calling was for Peter to join him on the water. Yet, for this miracle to take place, Peter had to summon the courage to step out of the boat, have faith that the waters would support each step, and keep his eyes fixed on Jesus, especially when frightening waves buffeted against him. Because Peter responded to the invitation, he had an experience of a lifetime: walking on water, joining Christ in the deep.

During these 40 Days of Prayer, Friends will have the opportunity to hear and respond to Christ’s invitation. How we respond will determine our spiritual depth and vitality. Our preoccupations, desire for safety, and fear of the unknown may keep us in the boat. Should we summon the courage of Peter and join Christ, we will experience the faith, joy, freedom, focus, power, and mysteries that come from being with him in deeper spiritual waters.

Put yourself in this Scripture scene. Imagine you and your group in the boat with Jesus’ disciples. Use your senses: What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste? As it is getting dark and the small vessel is being tossed by rising waves you hear Christ’s simple invitation: “Come.”

Prayerfully consider the following queries:

• How do I respond to this invitation?
• What does the boat represent in my life?
• What is preventing me from getting out of the boat?
• Of what am I afraid?
• What distractions cause me to take my eyes off Jesus?
• What blessings, assurances, and joys do I experience when I join Christ in deeper spiritual waters?

Going Forth

(10 minutes)

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.

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Comments

  1. Colin Saxton said:

    Good thoughts and probing questions!

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