You are the Beloved! Church weekend away – Link to Henri Nouwen talks

Henri Nouwen

Here’s  a link to the talks by Henri Nouwen we listened to at the Church Weekend Away.  And below are the questions we reflected on after the first and second talks.

Being the Beloved

Can you think of any other unhelpful definitions of our identity which we can have, beside the three Henri mentions? (‘I am what I do’, ‘I am what I have’,  ‘I am what other people say about me.’)

Which of the three unhelpful factors on which to base identity is most alluring to you personally?

Would anyone like to share a personal story of coming to realise that they are loved by God, and that ultimately this is all that matters?

Is there a difference between knowing God loves you, and experiencing that love? Which do you find most difficult to enter into – the knowing, or the experiencing.

How will the realisation that we are God’s beloved affect our daily lives, and our relationship with other people?

Henri reminded us of the primacy of God’s love – we were loved by God before we were loved by anyone else. How does the truth of this ‘first love’ help us cope with, and survive despite the shortcomings of the love we received from one another?

Becoming the Beloved

Which of the four truths about our Belovedness (We are ‘Chosen’, ‘Blessed’, ‘Broken’, and ‘Given’) encouraged or challenged you most today?

Henri said that recognising our chosenness set us free to rejoice in the chosenness of others. Is this true in your experience?

Share experiences of occasions when other people have, in word or in action ‘blessed’ you?  What is the difference, do you think, between paying someone a compliment, and blessing them?

What does it mean to put the brokenness under the blessing rather than the other way round, and what difference does it make when we do this?

What is the relationship between what Henri teaches in these talks, and the Christian task of sharing the Gospel?

How hard have you found it to acknowledge your brokenness rather than burying it and pretending it isn’t there?

What’s the difference between giving yourself to others out of a sense of your own belovedness, and giving without that sense?

Consider the last 24 hours.  Discuss together things have happened that have given you a fresh sense of your chosenness; a sense of blessing and an opportunity to bless others; an experience of being broken, and given for others?

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