Saturday 15 June 
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Stormy Weather, Peaceful Shores - Connect Groups

Week Two


Looks like rain


Rain is a rich metaphor and essential component of vibrant diverse life. But rain — vital for agriculture and potentially ruinous to buildings and infrastructure — is a multi varied thing in human experience. Rain is a bittersweet sensation — it can be bleak and oppressive or romantic and thrilling. In rain — in its overabundance or scarcity — there is danger as well as life, longing as well as fulfilment,  devastation as well as renewal. But even the hardest rain cannot sweep away God’s love. Rain sustains us and challenges us, refreshes and restores us — in the journey of water as it rises and falls we see a parable about life: powerful, relentless, awe inspiring, and ultimately renewing.



Read Matthew 20: 1-16

Raining on the parade.

The rains have been good. There’s plenty of fruit to harvest, and the landowner is happy to hire the ‘unhireables’ to help. But the end puts a dampener on things for the early birds who assume they’re going to get a bonus for clocking on early. How would you feel as one of those early workers?

Read Isaiah 55: 6-11

A refreshing system.

Taking inspiration from the water cycle to glean insights into God’s love that saturates our world.

Let’s further explore the cyclical analogy in verses 10 and 11. If the Lord’s word is like rain that doesn’t "return empty” what does it mean for God’s word to return to God? Is it poetically hinting at some kind of infinitely renewable system of grace? How would that work?

Read Isaiah 5: 1-7

Cultivating insights.

Rain and sunlight allow us to turn some earth and a handful of seeds in to food. But sometimes, even with the best intentions, things don’t take root.

Is there something to learn here in this passage about letting go of old places? While the vineyard itself is abandoned that doesn’t mean the vine stock itself is forsaken — it can be grafted and planted anew — but the old has to be let go of first.

Are we sometimes more bothered with shoring up old walls than in relocating the vine? And how do we decide when is time to uproot and graft the vine stock somewhere new?


* SEEDS TO SOW: These are open-ended and optional prompts and are designed for people wanting to develop their own resources in response to the themes. Perhaps if you are using this material as a group you could use these prompts to inspire a time of prayer, or drawing, or creative writing? They are a short and sweet, simply a starting off place for you and your imagination. Tailor and develop as suits your group.