Wednesday Reflections: The Sign and the Sacrifice
As we prepare ourselves during Lent for Holy Week and the Resurrected Jesus, we invite you to read & reflect on Rowan Williams’ 100-page poetic book The Sign and the Sacrifice. This group study may bring you a better understanding of Easter joy. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Cathedral office @ 524- 2823, if you can join us in the Von Holt Room on the following Lent Season Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7 pm:
February 14 – Soup Supper (donations) and group study
February 28 – Soup Supper (donations) and group study
March 14 – Soup Supper (donations) and group study (Note: date changed; was March 21)
We also invite you to join us here on the web to blog your reflections, as well.
Rowan Williams is acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer and teacher as well as an accomplished poet and translator. As Archbishop of the Anglican Communion leading his own diocese of Canterbury and the church of England for ten years, he moved to a new role in 2012 as Master of Magdalene College Cambridge. You may purchase Williams’ book at the Cathedral office for $13, or order your own copy at https://smile.amazon.com.
Following are some discussion questions to ponder. Share your thoughts, if you wish, in the space provided at the bottom of this page!
Part I THE MEANING OF THE CROSS
1. The sign:
a. Try to imagine yourself as an early Christian believer. What might come into your mind when you think of the cross?
b. Do you find the idea that the cross is a sign of God’s freedom helpful for your own life?
c. Have there been moments in your life when the cross has broken down your defenses?
2. The sacrifice:
a. In what way do the images or passages on sacrifice, either from the Old Testament of the New Testament, inspire you?
b. How does Jesus’ giving his heart to God as a sacrifice of obedience speak to you?
c. How does the doctrine of the cross as a gift renew you in your Christian life?
3. The victory
a. How does it help you to know that the victory is already there in Jesus’ life and in the cross?
b. Which of the early Christian or medieval images of the cross as victory speaks most to you and why?
c. Pick one of the hymns quoted in this chapter and say why it appeals to you. Does it help you to understand the cross?
Part 2 THE MEANING OF THE RESURRECTION
1. Christ’s resurrection – then
a. How does believing you are living the last phase of human history help your understanding of Jesus and his risen life?
b. Have you ever tended to view the church as no more than the Jesus of Nazareth Society? How does the idea of Jesus as “God with us” help dispel this view?
c. What is claimed about the historical basis of the resurrection stories and why? Do you subscribe to it? Why or why not?
2. Christ’s resurrection – now
a. How do you feel about the idea that the Bible illuminates the humanity of people from very diverse backgrounds?
b. How does belief in the resurrection show you that humanity can change? How does it help you to overcome your deepest fears?
c. How does it affect your prayer life? And your attitude to the material world