April 2024


We Abide in Christ

How Shall We Live

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B

Our final week in the series, “How Shall We Live?” calls us to live out the love and joy we have found in our life in Christ.

Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants answer, “What do you do when you see people asking for money or when you see homeless men or women?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read John 10:11-18 and 1 John 3:16-24.

  • Do you know people you would describe as generous? Why? What are the characteristics of a generous person?
  • One of the most difficult things to do is to decide whom to help and how to help others, particularly if you do not feel you have that much. How do you decide? What are specific ways to help others? Give away what you do not use, share something you made or cooked, volunteer somewhere, contribute to some cause?
  • The reading of the Gospel today describes Jesus as the good shepherd “who lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, NRSV). What relationship do you see between that verse and generosity? Does generosity include sacrifice?
  • 1 John 3:18 says: “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (NRSV). What is the difference between loving in word and loving in action? Can you eliminate one of them? How important is speech in love? How do you express your love in action?
  • According to our reading in 1 John, Christ abides in us when we are obedient in love for others and when we live as Christ lived. If you examine yourself based on this principle, are you a loving person? Do you see your group, your church, and your community as good examples of love in the world? If not, what specific needs to be added? A program that serves children, youth, adults with special needs, or the homeless?

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End with the following prayer, a similar prayer, or the Lord’s Prayer:

Loving God, there is so much need in the world that some days, it is overwhelming. Help us to be loving and generous Christians with a generous attitude wherever we can help. Show us ways to act or express love to anyone who needs a kind word or a generous gift. Amen.

The Rev. Carmen M. Gaud is an elder and member of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. She served as the editor of Lecciones Cristianas and other publications in Spanish for The United Methodist Publishing House and later as the editor of El Aposento Alto (the Spanish edition of The Upper Room).