January 13, 2019: Baptism of Jesus

Discussion Questions

When was the last baptism you witnessed?

What do you remember from the baptism?

What do you think baptism means?

Why do you think John was hesitant to baptize Jesus?

 

Acting on the Word

At least once each day when you come into contact with water, stop to remember the promises of baptism.

 

Daily Readings

    Sunday:          Matthew 3:1-17

Monday:         Psalm 2

  Tuesday:         Malachi 3:1-3

    Wednesday:    Isaiah 40:1-5

    Thursday:       Mark 1:4-11

    Friday:            Luke 3:1-22

    Saturday:        John 1:19-34

What do these passages say about Jesus and his purpose?  Thursday-Saturday: How are the other Gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism the same as Matthew’s?  How are they different?

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January 6, 2019: Epiphany

Discussion Questions

Do you enjoy star gazing?  Why or why not?

If you do, what is your favorite constellation?

Why do you think people read horoscopes or other astrology predictions?

How has Jesus been a light or a “star” in your life?

Acting on the Word

Go outside after dark one night this week and spend some time looking at the stars.

Daily Readings

    Sunday:          Matthew 2:1-12

Monday:         Isaiah 60:1-6

Tuesday:         Micah 5:2-4

Wednesday:    Psalm 72

Thursday:       Jeremiah 31:15–17

Friday:            Hosea 11:1–4

Saturday:        Matthew 2:13-23

    How is God at work in these passages? What are the connections between the Old Testament readings and the two Matthew readings?

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December 23, 2018 Joseph’s Dream

Discussion Questions

How often do you remember your dreams?

Do your dreams usually seem like nonsense, or do your dreams often seem to have meaning?

Have you ever had the sense that God was communicating with you in your dreams?

 

Acting on the Word

Keep a dream diary this week:  each morning as soon as you wake up, make some notes about the dream(s) you remember.  During your prayer time, read over those notes and ponder whether or not God has a message for you in your dream.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:       Matthew 1:18-25, Joseph’s Dream

Monday:      Luke 2:1-14, [15-20], Birth of Jesus

Tuesday:      Luke 2:8-20, Shepherds Visit

Wednesday: Genesis 15:1-21, God’s Covenant with Abram

Thursday:    Isaiah 7:10-17, A Sign of Immanuel

Friday:         Isaiah 7:18-25, A Sign of Immanuel

Saturday:     Acts 13:38-39, Jesus Frees

 

How is God with us in each of these passages?

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December 16, 2018 Isaiah: A Light to the Nations

Discussion Questions

What does justice mean to you?

What does it mean to be a light to the nations?

How are justice and light related?

Who receives justice in this passage?

 

Acting on the Word

Find a way to offer light and/or justice to someone this week.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:           Isaiah 42:1-9, A Light to the Nations

Monday:          Isaiah 42:10-20, A Hymn of Praise

Tuesday:         Isaiah 42:21-25, Israel’s Disobedience

Wednesday:    Isaiah 43:1-7, Restoration and Protection Promised

Thursday:        Isaiah 43:8-21, Restoration and Protection Promised

Friday              Isaiah 43:22-28, Restoration and Protection Promised

Saturday          Isaiah 44:1-8, God’s Blessing on Israel

What are God’s people waiting for?  How is God at work?

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December 9, 2018 Esther: Time for Action

Discussion Questions

Have you ever participated in a public protest or demonstration?  Why or why not?

What goes through your minds when you see news stories about protests or demonstrations?

Have you ever been asked to risk yourself to help others?  How did you respond?

 

Acting on the Word

Pray for those involved in protest and justice movements; if you feel called to do so, take a stance yourself.

Daily Readings

Sunday:           Esther 4:1-17, Mordecai challenges Esther to Act

Monday:         Esther 1:1-22, King Ahasuerus Deposes Queen Vashti

Tuesday:         Esther 2:1-23, Esther Becomes Queen

Wednesday:    Esther 3:1-15, Haman Undertakes to Destroy the Jews

Thursday:        Esther 5:1-14, Esther’s Banquet, Haman’s Plans

Friday:            Esther 6:1-14, The King Honors Mordecai

Saturday:         Esther 7:1—8:17, Esther Saves the Jews

 How is God at work?  Who is working against God?  Who chooses to act for justice?

 

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December 2, 2018 Habakkuk: Time for Vision

Discussion Questions

What is your physical vision like?  Do you need glasses or contacts?  Do you experience vision loss that can’t be corrected?

How does the quality of your vision affect your interaction with the world around you?

What does Habakkuk see?  How does what he sees affect him?

 

Acting on the Word

Watch the news on TV or watch current news videos on the internet.  What do you see?  How do you feel about what you see?  Does God seem to be absent or present in what you see? Pray about what you see.;

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:           Habakkuk 1:1-4; (2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19) Introducing Habakkuk

Monday:          Habakkuk 1:5-11, The Prophet’s Complaint

Tuesday:         Habakkuk 1:12—2:1, The Prophet’s Complaint, part 2

Wednesday:    Habakkuk 2:5-14, The Woes of the Wicked, part 1

Thursday:        Habakkuk 2:15-20, The Woes of the Wicked, part 2

Friday:            Habakkuk 3:1-7, The Woes of the Wicked, part 3

Saturday:         Habakkuk 3:8-19, The Woes of the Wicked, part 4 + a Word of Hope

 

What is Habakkuk’s concern?  What is God’s response?

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November 25, 2018: Jeremiah Calls for Change

Discussion Questions

Where do you feel safest?  Why do you think that is?

What are some ways our society takes advantage of the immigrant, the widow, and the orphan?

What are some ways God is calling you to change how you relate to the immigrant, the widow and/or the orphan?

Where do you see perjury or false witness occurring?

How might God be calling you to change how you speak/what you say to be more truthful?

 

Acting on the Word

Find a way to do something concrete to help an immigrant, a widow, or an orphan.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:           Jeremiah 7:1-11   Jeremiah’s Temple Sermon

Monday:          Jeremiah 7:16-34, The People’s Disobedience

Tuesday:         Jeremiah 8:18-9:11, The Prophet Mourns for the People

Wednesday:    Jeremiah 10:1-10, Idolatry Has Brought Ruin on Israel

Thursday:        Jeremiah 10:11-16, Idolatry Has Brought Ruin on Israel

Friday:            Jeremiah 10:17-25, The Coming Exile

Saturday:         Jeremiah 11:1-17, Israel and Judah Have Broken the Covenant

 

What have the people of Judah/Israel done wrong? How can their mistakes inform your choices?

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