We Share Christ

How Shall We Love

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B

We need the opportunity to submit ourselves as individuals and as a community to the work of living in peace with one another, working together toward the flourishing of all people.

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 images come to mind when you hear the word “unity”?

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read John 17:6-19.

  • Today’s Preaching Notes reflect on unity: “Jesus prays that we (that’s you and me and everyone else) would be one as “we are one.” We are to be as close as Jesus and God; we are called to function as parts of the Trinity, aspects of the same thing, different, but one in essence and in hope. That is what community really means. It doesn’t mean individuality is lost; differences make the whole what it is. But it does mean that we acknowledge our need for the other, acknowledge that we are somehow incomplete without the other. How can we fight among ourselves? How can we hate and cast stones at one another when we are part of the same whole? We are hating and casting stones at ourselves. The church is many things, but in this prayer, it is clear that the church is called to be one, to be united.”
    • How might you foster unity within your own community despite differences in opinions or backgrounds?
    • How might you cultivate a culture of forgiveness and reconciliation when conflicts arise within your community?
  • “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world” (John 17:14). Jesus emphasizes the distinction between His disciples and the world.
    • How can you maintain your identity as a follower of Christ while engaging with the world around you?
    • When have you faced challenges in maintaining your Christian identity while engaging with the world? How did you navigate through it?
  • “Our argument in this series and especially this week is that our calling is to live a life of love, and our fundamental belief is that sharing Christ is the loving thing to do. However, the methodology for sharing is as important as the sharing itself. Loving is an act of respect; it is a way of honoring others, the objects of our love—especially those whom society has neglected, overlooked, or ignored” (5/12 Preaching Note). “As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).
    • This week, how might you be sent to the world to share Christ? How does Jesus' mission to the world inspire you to live out your own mission as a disciple of Christ?
    • How does it challenge your comfort zones and call you to step out in faith?

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:

Gracious and loving God, we thank You for calling us to be One. Guide us as we go forth, so that we may live in unity and bear witness to Your grace in our every word and deed. Empower us to fulfill this mission with courage and joy. Amen.

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Rev. Motoe Yamada Foor, Director of Adult Discipleship, served in local churches for twenty years. She has a wealth of experience at a variety of organizational levels of The United Methodist Church as well as in ecumenical organizations such as the World Council of Churches (WCC). She also enjoys serving as a coach to help people and churches grow.

In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes