We Purify in Hope

How Shall We Live

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

Easter is such a joyous, colorful, and vibrant celebration! Now in Eastertide, this second Sunday, Christ is still risen! The Creation is still waking up!

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 did you learn from your family about how to dress for church, theatre, other social gatherings? Were there rules practiced all the time, or only when you had visits at home?”

Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read Luke 24:36b-48 and 1 John 3:1-7.

  • Both the Gospel lesson as well as 1 John mention the presence of a new era. It began with Jesus’ resurrection. In the Gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples. In the epistle, the writer refers to hope based on our faith. What is the difference between these two experiences? Do you need to see or experience something to accept it?
  • How did you begin to come to church? Did you come with your family or a friend? When and how did you begin to feel that the church and your relationship to God by your faith in Jesus was important?
  • The epistle mentions purification and sin: “No one who abides in him sins” (1John 3:6, NRSV). This is a difficult verse. The key word may be “abides,” which can also mean “living in union with Christ.” Sometimes that union gives us an inner assurance that helps us avoid some situations. At other times, somebody or something (a hymn or song, an object) helps us choose between options. Have you ever had that kind of experience?
  • How important do you feel faith and hope are to live according to your values? In what ways do you want to be your best self before God?
  • What are ways to abide in Christ? How do you try to maintain your communion with God in your daily life? What helps you to be reminded to act according to your values?

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, we want to abide in you and live our lives according to the faith we have in Jesus Christ. Help us to maintain our hope and faith in the midst of changes, temptations, and discouragement. 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).