September 22, 2019: Jacob and God Wrestle, Struggle, and Blessing

Discussion Questions

Do you enjoy wrestling and roughhousing?  Why or why not?

Describe a time you felt like you were struggling with God?

When have you (or have you) experienced blessing as a result of or in the aftermath of a struggle?  Describe that experience.

Acting on the Word

Find someone you have reason to believe is struggling and in need of a blessing and give them the blessing card you received today.  (We plan to have a supply available each week, so feel free to do this more than once!)

Daily Readings

Sunday:          Genesis 32:22-30          Jacob wrestles with God

Monday:       Genesis 33:1-17            Jacob and Esau Meet
Tuesday:       Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28   Joseph Sold into Slavery

Wednesday:  Genesis 41:1-36            Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream
Thursday:     Genesis 41:37-46          Joseph’s Authority

Friday:          Genesis 42:1-13            Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt

Saturday:      Genesis 45:1-20            Jacob and sons invited to Egypt

 Where do you see blessing in these stories?  Struggle?  How is God at work?

NOTE:  The Joseph story is best read in its entirety. You may find it helpful to read through it all, not just the pieces listed above.

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September 15, 2019: Community Abraham, Sarah & Visitors

Discussion Questions

What kinds of things make you laugh?

When have you offered hospitality to strangers?

What went well?  What was challenging?

When have you felt unseen, only to learn someone noticed you as the visitors noticed Sarah?

Who are the unseen members of our community?

Acting on the Word

Pay attention this week to those who are working behind the scenes.  Find a way to notice and acknowledge them.

Daily Readings

Sunday:        Genesis 18:1-15       Three Visitors for Abraham and Sarah

Monday:       Genesis 21:1-7        Isaac is Born to Sarah and Abraham
Tuesday:       Genesis 25:19-28     Jacob and Esau born to Isaac and Rebekah

Wednesday:  Genesis 27:1-40       Jacob and Rebekah deceive Isaac
Thursday:     Genesis 27:41-18:5  Jacob Leaves Home

Friday:          Genesis 29:13-30     Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Saturday:      Genesis 31:1-18       Jacob flees Laban

What surprises you about these “origin stories”?  What is familiar to you?  What questions do you have?  Take some time to ponder these questions, perhaps journaling about them.

 

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September 8, 2019: Garden of Eden

Discussion Questions

What is your favorite type of animal?  Why?

Do you have or have you had a pet?  If so, how has it been a companion to you?

Do you enjoy being alone, or do you prefer to have company?

 

Acting on the Word

Spend some time outdoors this week, paying particular attention to the animals you see.  Offer up a prayer of thanks to God for creation.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:         Genesis 2:4b-25

Monday:       Genesis 3:1-24
Tuesday:       Genesis 4:1-16

Wednesday:  Genesis 7:1-23
Thursday:      Genesis 9:1-17

Friday:          Genesis 11:26-32

Saturday:       Genesis 12:1-9

What words or ideas stand out to you?  What questions do you have?

 

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September 1, 2019: Dying Churches

Discussion Questions

What are your fondest memories of church?

What changes have you noticed in the congregation you attend?

What concerns you about the future of the church?

What hope do you see?

 

Acting on the Word

Talk with other church members about what church means to each of you.  Where do you see hope?

Daily Readings

Sunday:         Isaiah 43:16–21

Monday:       Psalm 42
Tuesday:       Matthew 16:13–20

Wednesday:  Jeremiah 29:11–14
Thursday:      John 10:27–30

Friday:          1 Corinthians 3:9–11

Saturday:       1 Corinthians 15:55–58

Reach each scripture passage slowly two or three times.  What words or phrases stand out to you?  Spend some time in silence, reflecting on what God may be saying to you about the church or your own life.

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August 25, 2019: The Immigrant

Discussion Questions

Where do your ancestors come from?

What do you know about why your ancestors came to this country?

What first- or second-generation immigrants have you known personally?

What are your thoughts or feelings about Scripture passages that call us to care for immigrants?  (See the daily readings below)

 

Acting on the Word

Learn part of the story of a first-generation immigrant—preferably in person, but research online if need be.  What brought them to this country?  What do they miss about the “old country”?  What do they most appreciate here?  How is their story similar and different to your family’s story?

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:         Genesis 47:1–12

Monday:       Exodus 22:21–23

Tuesday:       Leviticus 19:33–34

Wednesday:  Deuteronomy 10:14–19

Thursday:      Jeremiah 7:1–7

Friday:          Psalm 146:6-9

Saturday:       Galatians 3:26–29

What does each passage say about immigrant/foreigners/strangers?

 

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August 18, 2019: The Groaning of Creation

Discussion Questions

What natural disasters have you personally experienced?

What do you think of the idea that nature/creation can suffer and groan?

How do you care for creation?

 

Acting on the Word

Do something this week to care for creation. Some ideas:  spend time in a garden, pick up trash, recycle.

 

Daily Readings

Sunday:         Genesis 2:4b-9

Monday:       Genesis 2:15-17
Tuesday:       Joel 1:10-18

Wednesday:  Joel 2:12-19
Thursday:      Joel 2:21-27

Friday:          Psalm 8

Saturday:       Romans 8:18-25

 

What do these verses say about our relationship with creation?  Where do we find hope?

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July 28, 2019 Growing Old Takes Faith

Discussion Question

How did/does your family talk about age and aging?

How do you feel about birthdays and turning another year older?

What do you miss from your younger years?

What aspects of your life are better/more enjoyable now than when you were younger?

Acting on the Word

Spend some time in prayer this week seeking the tasks God has for you in this stage of your life.

Daily Readings

Sunday:          Genesis 7:1–7

Monday:        Genesis 9:28–29

Tuesday:        Hebrews 11:7
Wednesday    Genesis 12:1–4
Thursday:       Hebrews 11:8
Friday:           Genesis 17:15–19

Saturday:        Hebrews 11:11–12

Read the passage out loud, slowly, at least twice.  Then spend a few minutes pondering a word, phrase, or image that stands out to you.  What does it evoke within you? How old were these saints?

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