Wisdom in the Community (June 2021)



Wednesday 30th June 2021



For our Sea Sunday reading we hear of an encounter that the disciples of Jesus had with Jesus after his Rising from the dead.  They have gone back to their day job of fishing in the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus appears to them on the sea shore after showing them where they can make a great catch.

Peter and the others did not immediately recognise that the stranger on the shore was Jesus ( A little like the two disciples who walked to Emmaus and did not at first realise the man who joined them on the road was Jesus until they shared a meal together ).  Is that experience of God being present but not seen and not recognised initially one that you have known ?  If so, what was your response when the penny dropped ?  Was it a jump into the water and swim straight away ?  Or follow behind in the boat ?

Picture yourself in the boat after a night’s fishing in which the disciples have caught nothing.  How do you feel ?  Has there been a time in your life when you have felt like this?  When you emerged from this on the other side was there any sense that God had been with you and seen you through ?  Were you able to say as one of them said ‘It is the Lord!’  ?

What do you make of the exact number of fish 153 ?   What if at the time of the gospel being written this was the total number of fish species known to humans ?  Would that convey a message?   What might the significance be in the detail we are told that ‘the net was not torn’.   How does that make you feel about being part of God’s family? 

In the Creation Story in Genesis 1 we read    And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures…..So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm.

Jacques Cousteau said "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."  Think back to David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet or a similar TV programme.  Share in the group a fish or sea creature shown there that led you into a deeper sense of awe and wonder of God’s creation.

Planet Earth has five great oceans and 113 seas.  They represent 72 percent of the surface of the globe, and together they've been an endless source of inspiration for humankind.  Yet The Blue Planet included dramatic images of vast islands of plastic floating on the ocean.


Wednesday 23rd June 2021


WISDOM GROUPS: Matthew 16: 13-19 and Acts 12:1-11:

“Who do you say that I am?”

1. How do you introduce yourself to a group?  And if you had to write an introductory paragraph about yourself what might it say?  Would this differ from what a friend or family member might say about you?....and why?

2. Look at Simon Peter’s answer to “who do you say that I am?” What strikes you about his answer?

3. How would you answer the question if Jesus asked you that same question? Have a go perhaps of writing your response down? You might want to share these and talk about the responses.

4. What was Jesus’ response to Peter when he heard his answer?  And how do you think that the response affected Peter’s life from that moment?  You might want to read the Acts reading.

5. What name change or commission has happened in your life?  Making promises in marriage etc?

6. What would be your response if you believed that God was asking something special of you?


Wednesday 16th June 2021

WISDOM GROUPS: Luke 3: 1-17


This week we look at John the Baptist as his feast day is June 24th and he is is the patron saint of Penzance on the basis that the local geography looks like a head and Penzance literally means holy headland – and John the Baptist suffered the terrible fate of being executed for criticising the morals of the governor.

1.Picture yourself as one of the crowd listening to John. Imagine you are there besidethe River Jordan. How does his words impact on you? Luke tells us that the people were ‘filled with expectation’. What kind of expectation would being there have put into your heart?

2. Look at John’s teaching in verses 10 to 14 and think about the other things you might know about his preaching. What words would you find to describe his style of evangelising?

John comes over as a man who would not compromise. He would not temper his message to win the sympathy of his hearers. He has not taken advice from the local PR firm!

He was blunt with the Roman soldiers, the Phariseees and Herod himself and paid the price. How do you feel about his approach?

Do you admire his cast iron conviction? Or are you concerned by an inflexible dogmatism?

Can you recall a time when you have felt it was right to challenge someone?


Wednesday 9th June 2021


WISDOM GROUPS: John 15: 12-17

Read though this text.

1. I wonder what words or phrases jump out at you?  You may wish to close your eyes after reading the text and see if you can remember any of the words or phrases!

2. What pictures or situations come to mind when you hear the sentence “No one has greater love that this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends?  After sharing these thoughts how does this make you feel?

3. Is there any situation that you could imagine “laying down your life”?  And what would that entail?

4. What images come to mind when you hear the word servant or slave?  Downton Abbey was a very popular TV series.  What do we learn about the world of “going into service”?  What has changed in our lifetime?  Who are today’s servants and slaves?

5. How does it feel to be chosen?  Do you have a sense of being chosen by God?  What for and what is the “fruit” that we might bear?


Wednesday 2nd June 2021

WISDOM GROUPS: Mark 3: 20-end

Context to this week’s reading

This passage follows on immediately after Jesus has appointed the twelve disciples and comes after Jesus has performed a number of healings in the towns around his home. According to Mark the role of the disciples is to be companions to Jesus and to proclaim the gospel and drive out demons.

Imagine yourself at this scene and first picture yourself in the doorway of the house. where the action takes place

what do you make of the conversation you overhear?

The family who ask for space so they can eat

The religious leaders who have come all the way from Jerusalem and who are questioning Jesus

Jesus’ own family saying he has gone out of his mind?

This story offers a different view on Mary from the one we traditionally have but what might it have felt like for her ?

Jesus has come home with 12 new friends all on a religious high.  Rumour has reached her that her son has embraced a leper.  Simon’s mother in law came to tell her that Jesus had persuaded Peter to leave his trade as a fisherman and go wandering over the countryside.

Now the sensible scribes from Jerusalem are attributing her son’s behaviour to Beelzebub.

Might she have reason to think he has gone out of his mind?

The passage suggests that with the arrival of Jesus the people in this part of the world are living through a time of great change. We too are living through a time of great change. It is clear that the people in Jesus’ time did not find it easy to interpret precisely what was going on.

How do we go about trying to interpret what is going on.  How can we be sure when God is at work?

Jesus has a view of ‘authentic family’ which might be shocking for us.  Look back over the past week and ask who have you seen performing the will of God ?   Does your answer to this question surprise you ?