December 8, 2019: Comfort and Re-creation

Discussion Questions

What foods would you consider “comfort foods”?  Why?

What activities or experiences do you find comforting?  Why?

What comfort do you need this holiday season?

How are you called to comfort others this Advent?

Acting on the Word

    Speak a word of comfort to at least one person you encounter each day.

Daily Readings (OR: Read from the Advent Devotional)

Sunday:          Isaiah 40:1-11 

Monday:         Daniel 1:1-21

Tuesday:         Daniel 5:1-16

Wednesday:    Daniel 5:17-31

Thursday:       Isaiah 44:24-28

Friday:            Isaiah 45:11-13

Saturday:        2 Chronicles 36:22-23 (1 Esdras 2:1-11)

 

Notes: 

  • All these readings take place during the exile, when many of the people of Judah had been forcibly taken to Babylon after Judah lost a series of wars.
  • 1 Esdras is a book in the Apocrypha. If you have a Bible which includes the apocrypha, or if you have a Catholic Bible, you may find it interesting to read this passage and compare it to the one from 2 Chronicles.  Ask Pastor Lorinda if you want to know more.
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December 1, 2019: Re-Balance (Jeremiah)

Discussion Questions

What does “balance” mean to you?

Does your life feel “in balance” or “out of balance?”

In what ways is the world “out of balance?”

How is God bringing about a new balance?

What do you think that will look like?

 

Acting on the Word

    Do a random act of kindness this week for someone.

 

Daily Readings (OR: Read from the Advent Devotional)

Sunday:          Jeremiah 33:5b-16

Monday:         Jeremiah 34:8-17

Tuesday:         Jeremiah 37:1-10

Wednesday:    Jeremiah 37:11-21

Thursday:       Jeremiah 39:1-10

Friday:            Jeremiah 40:1-6

Saturday:        Jeremiah 43:1-7

Where is the hope and the promise in these passages? (Or is there hope and promise?) How is God at work?

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November 24, 2019: Renewing the Covenant

Discussion Questions

What groups or clubs do you belong to?

What rules or expectations do they have about conduct and behavior?

How are those expectations shared?

How are expectations and covenant related?

What are the expectations God has of us, based on the covenant God has made with us?

Acting on the Word

    One part of our covenant with God involves remembering to give thanks.  Each day this week, make a list of things you are thankful for.  Spend some time in prayer, thanking God for these things.

 Daily Readings

Sunday:          2 Kings 22:1-20; 23:1-3 

Monday:         2 Kings 23:21-25

Tuesday:         2 Chronicles 35:20-27

Wednesday:    2 Kings 23:29-37

Thursday:       2 Kings 24:8-17

Friday:            2 Kings 24:18-25:2

Saturday:        Jeremiah 32:1-15

How is the covenant with God being kept?  How is it being broken?

Note:  All three of these books (2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Jeremiah) cover much of the same time period, from three different perspectives.

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November 17, 2019 Isaiah-The Vineyard and the Branch

Discussion Questions

What kinds of experience have you had with plants?

In what ways does God provide for/protect the vineyard in Isaiah 5?

In what ways does God provide for/protect us?

How does the promise in Isaiah 11 relate to the lament in Isaiah 5?

Acting on the Word

    Find a way to tend a plant this week.  What does that experience tell you about caring for people?

 Daily Readings

Sunday:          Isaiah 5:1-7 

Monday:         Isaiah 11:1-5

Tuesday:         2 Kings 18:28-35

Wednesday:    2 Kings 19:1-7

Thursday:       2 Kings 20:1-11

Friday:            2 Kings 20:12-21

Saturday:        2 Kings 21:1-9

 

What choices do the leaders and/or people of Judah make?  What does God do and say in these passages?

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November 10, 2019: Hosea

Discussion Questions

If it’s true that there are “negative” consequences to sin, do you think these consequences come directly from “the hand of God?”

Given that “the wages of sin is death,” why do people continue to do things and think things and say things that disappoint God?

Have you ever had a time when your love for another person overpowered the disappointment that person caused you?

Acting on the Word

Take a few minutes at the end of each day to prayerfully ask yourself where you have followed God today and where you have strayed.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:          Hosea 11:1-9

Monday:         Hosea 14:1-7

Tuesday:         Micah 3:9-12

Wednesday:    Micah 4:1-4

Thursday:       Micah 6:3-8

Friday:            Isaiah 1:10-20

Saturday:        Isaiah 2:1-4

What actions have displeased God in these passages?  What is God’s response?

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November 3, 2019: All Saints

Discussion Questions

Who is the bravest person you know?  What makes them brave?

Who have been your role models?  Why?

What do you like about Elijah?  What don’t you like?

Acting on the Word

Write a thank-you note to someone who has helped you see that God is real.

Daily Readings

Sunday:          1 Kings 18:17-39

Monday:         1 Kings 19:1-18
Tuesday:         1 Kings 21:1-16

Wednesday:    1 Kings 21:17-29  
Thursday:       2 Kings 2:1-14

Friday:            2 Kings 4:8-17

Saturday:        2 Kings 4:18-37

What shows that God is real in these passages?  Who are the “saints” in these passages?  What makes them saints?

 

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October 27, 2019: Division

Discussion Questions

What is your favorite sports teams?

What are the key rivals of those teams?

What divisions/rivalries do you see in our country?

In our community?

Why do you think those divisions exist?

What caused the divisions between the northern tribes and Rehoboam?

Acting on the Word

Identify a division you are part of.  How might you serve/care for someone on the other side of the division?  Try to do so this week.

Daily Readings

Sunday:           1 Kings  12:1-17, 25-29

Monday:          1 Kings 14:1–16
Tuesday:         1 Kings 14:21–31

Wednesday:     1 Kings 15:9–24     
Thursday:        1 Kings 16:21–28

Friday:            1 Kings 16:29–34

Saturday:         1 Kings 17:1–7

What do these kings of Israel and Judah (and/or the prophet Elijah) do well?  What things do they do wrong?

 Remember, “Israel” refers to the northern kingdom, comprised of 9 of the 12 tribes of the Israelites. “Judah” refers to the southern kingdom, comprised of 3 of the tribes of the Israelites.  If you have a Bible with a map section, you may find it helpful to look refer to the map.

 

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