Casowasco News Archive for December, 2019

Final Installation of 2019 Advent Series

Final Installation of 2019 Advent Series

The final installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Luke 2:1-20.

https://youtu.be/emiKMZkGyg8

The gospel of Luke is the only gospel that provides us with a full birth narrative of Jesus Christ. This story tells us of peace. Peace on earth. Peace to all whom God loves. We can imagine the peace Mary must have felt finally holding her son, or the peace the shepherds experienced when they saw that what was spoken to them by the angel was real. This was the promised messiah, here in the flesh.

God choose unlikely people to announce the messiah’s birth. The shepherds! They were seen as lowly and unimportant. Yet God uplifts them to share the good news that the messiah has come!

Guiding Questions for small Group Discussion:
1. As Shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night, they were probably fairly peaceful, before the angel of the Lord appeared. But what kind of peace must they have experienced after meeting the Messiah? Would it have been the same peace Mary felt?

2. What does this statement mean to you?
Peace among those whom God favors (NRSV)
Peace to all men & women on earth who please him (The Message)
Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (New Living Translation)

3. Why would it have been shocking for people to hear news about the messiah’s birth from the shepherds? Who do you think would announce a messiah’s birth in our generation?

4. Mary and Joseph were turned away at the inn in Bethlehem. This was because of the census being taken. All of Joseph’s family was in town! Have you considered they must have been turned away by family? How must have Joseph felt?

Posted on December 20th by David Wood

Advent with Casowasco: Week 3 - Joy

Advent with Casowasco: Week 3 - Joy

The third installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Isaiah 11

The book of Isaiah foretells the coming Messiah that we know today as Jesus. The ancient Hebrews were faced with turmoil, conflict, oppression, and it was often hard to look at their circumstances and feel joy. Yet in these times where it would be easy to despair, they were given the promise of joy to come.

The image of something new coming from the roots or remains of the past is one that we can take solace in when we struggle to find joy in our daily lives. We know that we are part of a lineage of faith, that salvation is promised and joy is ours for the taking because of Jesus.

Guiding Questions for Small Group Discussion:

1. Knowing that the one we anticipate has a Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear in the Lord, what joy does this give you?

2. What does it mean to delight in the fear of the Lord?

3.Where have you found joy this advent season? From what stumps/roots of the past has this joy grown from?

 

Posted on December 13th by David Wood

2nd Installment of Advent with Casowasco Released

The second installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Luke 1:26-56

This week we reflect on Mary, the mother of Jesus. While Mary is strong in her faith, and sure of the love of God, she does what we all would do, she questions how she it is possible that she of all people is chosen by God for this work.

As we continue our journey, we should take time to reflect on the times in our life that we have felt God’s call to action. What holy work has God set aside for us to complete? Do we feel worthy of the call? Do we feel capable of completing it?

The answer? On our own, it’s no. However, we as people of faith know that we are not called to this work alone. We have a covenant with the God of creation, a covenant of love. Our God pledges to work with us and through us on the journey.

Guiding Questions for Small Group Discussion:

1.Reflect and discuss the above questions in relation to calls you have felt from God.

2.Mary finds herself facing a great amount of social criticism, yet still is able to praise and love God in the face of it all. Have you ever found it difficult to praise and love God in the face of overwhelming obstacles?

3.Have you ever experienced God’s love in a surprising way? Was the experience overwhelming? Did you doubt yourself or your worthiness? How did you respond?

Posted on December 6th by David Wood