Looking Through the Cross – The Cross and Ambition/The Cross and Failure, pt.2.

Please remember that tonight we are reading through Chapter 6 “The Cross and Ambition” and Chapter 7 “The Cross and Failure.”  Through the Cross, our ambition is redirected from ourselves towards others and it is through the Cross that our failures, like Peters, are set aside and overcome. As you prepare for this evening, think through these questions:

  • What is so seductive and appealing about the “Donald Trump” approach to ambition?
  • “To become like God, whose essential characteristic is love… is the only ambition really worth having.” p.132 Do you agree? Are there other ambitions worth pursuing? How do they relate to this one?
  • “If the cross is taken seriously… then ambition is not negated, but radically redirected.” p.136. Which of your ambitions need to be redirected in this way?
  • What are the benefits and attractions of a  more communal or a more individualistic way of life?
  • Failure had opened Peter’s eyes to himself in a way that success never could.” p.159‐60. Can you recall experiences of failure that led you a deeper understanding of wisdom and life?
  • Why do you think Judas’ failure did not lead him to repentance? Why does failure lead some to despair?
  • What would it take for our church communities to become more accepting of failure?  
  • How might you help someone who is in despair over a recent failure?
  • “Jesus died for you, not because you are a good Christian, but because you are a bad one.” (p166). What does that mean to you? How does this idea affect how you treat others?

Please remember the offerings on Wednesday evening during Lent:

·         Trinity is continuing its series on “Confronting Evil.”  The discussion this week is “Confronting Structural Evil.”  Rev. Kendall Harmon is giving the talk.  Dinner at 5:30 (please let the church know if you are coming to dinner) with the talk beginning at 6:00.

·         Messiah has a joint Wednesday Lenten program with and at St. Phillip’s.  Dinner is at 5:45 (please let the church know if you are coming to dinner) followed by a study. Evening Prayer is at 7:30.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is corned beef and cabbage. Hope to see you here.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us.

1 John 4:16b-19.

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