Skip to content

The Next Faithful Step

Week 4: Health

CF565: Empowering the People of God

Review: Lament

Each week we talk about "longing and loss."  What is the way that the Bible responds to loss?  The most common biblical approach is with "lament."  That will be particularly true when we talk this week about health.  So let's take the time to review the idea.

    1. John Goldingay "Lament"
    1. Some of you have already encountered this idea of Psalms of Lament in your coursework, perhaps in an OT class.  But if you have not, take the time (about an hour) to watch this lecture that John Goldingay gave on "Prayer and the Psalms." You will need to understand this idea of lament because we will likely use it each week throughout the quarter.


    1. Review: look back through the section on "Practices" in the paper you read last week called "The Leader's Vocation" [Word doc].  I'm thinking of pages 4-13 (esp. 11-13)
    2. The Practice of Hospitality
      1. Christine Pohl, "Hospitality: Grace Enters with the Stranger"
        There is on this webpage a short video and a follow-up Q&A.  Be sure that you look at both.
      2. Christine Pohl, "Hospitality, a practice and a way of life" (PDF)
    3. The Practice of Koinonia (Community)
      1. Linda Peacore, "The Church as Community"
      2. Scott Cormode, "Partnership & Hospitality" (Word doc)
      3. Sherry Turkle, "Alone Together" TED Talk

Case Study

      1. Option 1: "Darien Hill"
      2. Option 2: "Vic Vargo Dies"
        Be sure to read both case studies. But you only have to write about one of them for your weekly paper.


    1. Theological Resources
      Marva Dawn, "Loss of Dreams"  This is a chapter from her book called Being Well When You are Ill.  It is a wonderful book.  And if we had more time, I'd have you read the whole thing.  But since we don't, I am going to give you a link to the GoogleBooks version of it and have you read Chapter 2 "Loss of Dreams."  Access the Google Book here and then scroll down to Chapter 2.
    2. Biblical Resources
      1. Read the Book of Ruth in the Bible (yes, the whole book)
        1. John Goldingay, "Ruth 1"
        1. "Ruth 2"
        1. "Ruth 3"
        1. "Ruth 4"
        1. Biblical Reflections
          1. John Goldingay, "God & Disability" [Word doc]
          2. John Goldingay, "Death & Suffering" [Word doc]


    1. Take time to write about the following questions (think, if possible, in terms of stories)
      1. Reflect on your own experience of health?
      2. Have you or loved ones experienced sickness?  How did you react?
      3. What role did other Christians play in caring for you?
      4. What were your hopes and your disappointments about health?
    2. What does the Book of Ruth teach us about sickness and death?
    3. How is koinonia (community/fellowship) related to your theological understanding of the church?
    4. What role do hospitality and koinonia (community/fellowship) play in our response to sickness?
    5. Use these reflections to write about one of the two case studies that you read earlier.