Lenten Retreat 2018: Cross References

Lenten Retreat 2018: Cross References

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Text: zachandrachel.wordpress.com
In February, our YAGM Central Europe cohort gathered in Belgrade, Serbia for our 2018 Lenten Retreat. The theme for our Lenten Retreat was Cross References: Looking from New Perspectives. While our retreats are a time to relax together and spend some time learning about the context we are visiting, one of my favorite parts of retreats is Bible Studies and Worship.

We went on City Tours, visited museums, tried Serbia cuisine together, but worship and bible study is the center point on which everything else pivots. After all, an aspect of the YAGM program which sets it apart from other volunteer opportunities is the spiritual component and faith formation.

For our Bible study time together, the YAGM volunteers were randomly separated into three small groups: Mathew, Mark and Luke. Each full day of our retreat had a theme: Healing, Death, and Resurrection and each group was given one of the parallel text from each of the three synoptic gospels.


Mathew 9:20-22

Mark 5:25-34

Luke 8:43-48


Mathew 27:32-56

Mark 15:21-41

Luke 23:26-43


Mathew 28:1-10

Mark 16:1-8

Luke 24: 1-12

Each group reflected on a text from one Gospel and created a visual representation of what they felt that text was communicating. Together, we reflected on what was similarities and differences between each telling of a story.

It was important for our group where the details overlapped, and even more interesting to watch personalities and viewpoints of the distinct texts unfold. We experienced a richness in the Gospel by listening carefully to the variety of distinct voices it contains. In our time together, we were reminded that each voice is uniquely formed in and informed by context; that we are all formed with our own life experiences and expectations. United together in the body of Jesus Christ, we experience the living Gospel and God's Grace more fully because of our individuality and uniqueness. not despite it.

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