Valentine's Day Pub Theology: Questions & Homework
Join us on Saturday (2/13) at 4pm for a special Valetine's themed Pub Theology!
Never been to Pub Theology before? That's okay! Here's how it works...
Pub Theology is a time connection, conversation, and story-telling. Together we reflect on questions about who God is and how God works in our lives and in the world. We'll answer questions together for about an hour. Take a look at the questions and scripture passages in advance so you can start thinking about your own answers and stories.
The one "rule" of Pub Theology is that you tell a real story and then make room for someone else's real story. Meaning, share something that matters to you, and then make enough room in the conversation for others to share, too. The questions are always intentionally designed so there are no right or wrong answers. And as long as we're telling our own stories, it is always okay if we disagree. It's the sharing of the story that matters. So, tell a real story. And let everyone else's story be told, too. Something special happens between us when we share our stories.
Come as you are. All are welcome.
Here are the questions:
1) In general, how do you feel about Valentine's Day? Is it a Hallmark holiday? Meaningful to you? The absolute worst day of the year? Why?
2) Read about St. Valentine (link below). How does this change/inform/enhance your feelings about the day? Does this relate to our faith in any way?
3) Tell us one story (that you're comfortable sharing with the group!) about a moment in your life when you felt truly loved and really seen by someone else or by a group of people.
4) Read 1 Corinthians 13 (information below). This is easily our most famous text about love. We use it at weddings and funerals. What do you hear in this text about God's love for us? And our love for God?
5) Read John 15:9-17. So maybe Valentine's Day isn't exactly a religious holiday. But what can we learn from it? How can the recognition and celebration of love enliven our faith as we try to share God's love? As we understand ourselves to be Jesus' friends, and people who love our friends, family, spouses, children, parents (etc.) how do we abide in this love and share it with others? Tell us a story about that love and how you see God present in the love you share with friends, family, spouses, grandchildren, etc.
Some homework to help...
To read the two bible passages, you can open a book - or search the internet - or go to www.bible.oremus.org and enter the passage. Or read below.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly,but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.