Revelation 5: Vision

Question:

What does God especially cherish about you?
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Transcript of Video:

John has this vision where he sees the hand of God in the whole of creation in ordinary things like bread and wine and water. He sees God’s very self breaking through. And I think John’s gospel I think helps to give us a similar vision so that we, too, when we walk in the world John’s gospel can sort of open our eyes to see that in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ words, “That the world is charged with the grandeur of God.” And I think it’s that which draws me to John that every time I read John I have a – it’s almost like my own vision is deepened.  And it’s extraordinary, The more one goes deeper into the words of John in a remarkable way I think the more one enters into the very heart of God and discovers again and again just how much God loves and cherishes each one of us.

– Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Revelation 4: Remember

Question:

Where was God for you today?
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Transcript of Video:

I find it’s difficult to go through the day to remember what God has done. I may sense in the moment, “Oh, look God’s right here. How beautiful that is. Oh, that was a great word.” And then I continue through the day and something else happens and the next task is before me, the next problem, the next worry, the next assignment and if I don’t stop later, it will easily just pass by me what’s happened, what God has given me. And I find that’s what a lot of people have trouble with when thinking of, “Well, where was Jesus for me? Sure Jesus may be ordinary and right in my daily life but I don’t see Him and it must be something bigger. That must be why I’m not seeing Jesus today.” And yet Jesus comes in all these small and simple ways. And takes the time to stop and ask to see where was God for me today.

One of the most helpful practices I’ve found is to actually stop at the end of the day and ask and look back and see where was God for me today. What was the gift of God for me today? So I ask questions like what am I most thankful for today. What am I least thankful for? When was I most fully alive? And those things spark in me oh, yes, I remember that word. Remember I was anxious about that meeting and then how it came together, or that encouragement from a Brother, or as I went outside and saw the glory of the sun through the leaves and I stopped, remember that moment. And then giving thanks I realized that was God’s gift to me and not only a gift because as John says “I am the bread of life.” Even those very little things that is Jesus to me today. That is Jesus showing up in my neighborhood, that word, that image, that consolation, those are divine gifts.

When I don’t stop at the end of the day to ask, I usually forget. They fly by. New things come. But when I do stop I’m reminded again how much God loves me and where Jesus was for me that day.

– Br. Luke Ditewig

Revelation 3: Acceptance

Question:

What is your reminder that you are loved?
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Transcript of Video:

God loves you and you may be, at this moment, or you may be able to remember some moments, where you felt that to the core of your being. But what happens when the weather changes and that feeling has gone away? Well, I would say two things. One, I think love is ultimately not a feeling it’s a decision and it’s God’s decision and God adores you. You make God’s day. You’re the apple of God’s eye. God loves you. That’s the truth. Some days you may get in touch with the feeling that encompasses that. But I would say number one, cling to the truth. That’s of your essence. You are loved of God and God has hopes of spending eternity with you.

Second of all, especially if the feeling of love is lost on you right now, write this on a piece of paper “God loves me” and keep that piece of paper with you. I’d encourage you to cart that piece of paper with you through the day and tuck it under your pillow at night. And you might say, “And when I do that will I feel that God loves me?” I don’t know. I don’t know if you will or not. But I think the truth of that has every potential of sinking into the reality of your being because it’s a decision and its God’s decision and the invitation for you is to cooperate with that decision. God is operating with love in your life and your response to co-operate with the truth of it. You’ll catch on. You’ll catch on.

– Br. Curtis Almquist

Revelation 2: Relationship

Question:

How could you be playful in showing love to others today?
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Transcript of Video:

I love the gospel of John because of the loving, playful image it gives us of Jesus. He’s serious and there are very serious things that occur in the gospel. But there’s this playfulness and this hunger to relate that is just wonderful. We all have those desires to have deep relationships with people and Jesus shows that sure it’s possible that it could happen. And in touching those people, He makes it happen in them. They have those relationships with other people as well as with Jesus. I mean, He opens something and helps them to live out rather than being focused on themselves.

If they don’t get it, He still loves them. You know, through all of that, He still loves them. That undying love that He has helps us to have that same kind of persistent undying love for other people. And if we don’t hear that message, our lives are so … so narrow. So … we lack the kind of richness that that love for other people can give our own life.

– Br. Eldridge Pendleton

Revelation 1: Love

Question:

What do you understand about who God is?
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Transcript of Video:

I’ve really come to love the gospel of John and the epistles of John since I’ve become a member of this community and I think the primary reason is because the message is love. The gospel and the epistles tell us about a God who is love, whose very character and nature is love. And out of God’s love, He sent Jesus into the world to reveal to us the true nature of God and to reveal to us our true identity as children of God. And so the gospel writer says, “To those who believed in Him, to those who entered into relationship with Him, they discovered a new life and a new light in their lives and they received power to become the children of God.”

One of my favorite verses is from the first letter of John where the author has this tremendous enthusiasm about this theme. He says in first John 3, verse 1, “See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God and that is what we are.” And this author and the community have discovered through Jesus a God who is love and have known themselves to be beloved disciples. And that’s been a powerful message for me personally and I think it’s the message that speaks most deeply to our community and it’s also the witness that we have to offer the world. So we want to extend this invitation to all of you who are participating in this video series to open yourself to this wonderful truth and let it transform your lives.

– Br. David Vryhof

Love Life: Revelation Conversation

This week’s videos will take up the theme of Revelation. As you get ready for the week, we invite you to listen in on a conversation about Revelation between the Novice Guardian, Br. David Vryhof, and two of the community’s novices, Brs. Jim Woodrum and John Braught. We hope their questions will start your thinking about your own, and give you a glimpse into the Brothers’ daily life as monks who look to the Gospel of John to guide their own lives of love. We hope this coming week will help you to #LoveLife.

Question:

Can you allow yourself to be vulnerable and be embraced?
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Love Life: Introduction Compilation

We are pleased to share in this Lenten journey with you. Today’s offering is a compilation of the three introduction videos. We hope this compilation will help you to catch up on any videos you might have missed, as well as providing an easy way to share the week’s videos in a group. Let us know how this week went for you!
Watch the Videos. Write your Answers. #LoveLife

Questions:

Introduction 1: Where can you know abundant life? Where can you still grow?
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Introduction 2: What new word is God speaking to you today?
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Introduction 3: Write a wish for your journey along the way.
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Introduction 3: Scripture

Question:

Write a wish for your journey along the way.

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Transcript of Video:

One of the things I particularly love about John’s gospel is paradox: of light and darkness, above and below.  I think that we live our lives both firmly planted on this earth with our hearts soaring for something that is above and beyond.  And I think that John’s gospel helps us navigate this kind of limminal space in which we live, where we are firmly grounded in this world which God has created and which God has blessed again we see in the coming of Jesus who takes on human form, and yet in John’s gospel we see Jesus pointing us to things above.

I think that John’s gospel is an enormous navigational help for our finding our way, which is a word that appears in John’s gospel, “How can we know the way?” How can we find the way, living in between, as we are, things earthly and things heavenly?  We’re passionate about this.  Passion fills these texts of John and we will be so glad to invite you on a daily basis to travel the way with us.  Come with us.

– Br. Curtis Almquist

Introduction 2: Gospel

Question:

What new word is God speaking to you today?

Write your Answer – click here

Transcript of Video:

One of the things that has been so important for me to learn about the gospel of John is we know that John was written later than probably any of the other gospels, which means that we had three or four generations of Christian community of people that could gather together and could have conversations about who Jesus was in their prayer. How they experienced the risen Christ in their lives. And it looked like they took particular healing events, miracle events in Jesus’ life, and they literally had three generations of being in community talk about what that meant. That’s why there are so few stories in John’s gospel.

What it really invites me into, and I think our community into, is a sense that Christ is always speaking a new word and that while scripture is important and these stories are important, there is an expectation from the gospel of John that this is a tradition that’s going to continue in the life of the church. So there’s always a new word. And even though we live this very traditional life, my expectation for myself and for my Brothers and for the people that we minister with is about a new word. A word – an experience of the risen Christ that speaks to our situation and who we are.

– Br. Tom Shaw