August 10, 2017

Beginner’s Mind

August 10, 2017

Daily Reading (Click to read each Scripture)
Acts 17:10-15
Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29
This week’s sermon text: Romans 1:18-21

Field Notes
Our scripture reading today tells of a congregation of Jewish people living in Berea, a city in Macedonia about 50 miles southwest of Thessalonica. Paul and his colleague Silas were sent there to share the good news of Jesus, and the scripture says, “they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so” (v. 11).

The believers in Berea were beginners in learning about faith in Christ. The good news was fresh and powerful and transformative.

Have you ever noticed, though, that as you progress through your life, you can sometimes grow numb to the power of the good news? We think we get it. We think we understand. It feels sort of old hat.

In times like this, we need a big shot of “beginner’s mind,” a concept in Zen Buddhism that refers to “having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.” No matter how long we’ve been a follower of Christ, there’s always much more to learn. And with fresh eyes and an eager heart, we reclaim the joy and excitement of “beginner’s mind.”

Questions for the Field

  • Has the good news ever seemed old hat to you, like you’ve heard it all before so it seems ordinary and tame?
  • What could you do to encourage “beginner’s mind” in yourself, as it relates to following Christ?

Family Field Talk

  • Do you remember when you were in 1st grade and learned to read? How did you feel when you were able to read your first book all by yourself?
  • Ask a grown-up to read a Bible story with you and show you how to look up the chapters and verses so that you can find the story on your own.

Prayer Guide
Holy Spirit, enliven our hearts and minds so that we never become jaded in our faith or feel like we’ve arrived at the destination. Keep us ever in a state of humble “beginner’s mind” so that we can experience the eagerness and joy of being in relationship with Christ. Amen.