January 5, 2020 Jesus’ Baptism

Discussion Questions

Share what you remember from the last baptism you witnessed.

When have you had a sense of calling or being sent on a mission?

How are baptism and mission related?

Who invited you to be a follower of Jesus?

Acting on the Word

    Invite someone to worship or another church activity this week.

Daily Readings

Sunday:          Mark 1:1-8

Monday:         Mark 1:9-13

Tuesday:         Mark 1:14-20

Wednesday:    Mark 1:21-28

Thursday:       Mark 1:29-34

Friday:            Mark 1:35-39

Saturday:        Mark 1:40-45

Read each passage through slowly, 2 or 3 times; what word or phrase stands out to you?  Spend some time reflecting on that word.  What is God saying to you today through this verse?

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December 29, 2019: Pre-teen Jesus Re-Learn

Discussion Questions

What kinds of family trips did you go on as a child?

Did you ever get separated from your parents (or from your child) on a trip?

If so, what was that like?

What do you think Jesus was like as a child?

What challenges do you think Mary and Joseph faced raising Jesus?

Acting on the Word

    Do something to bring joy or comfort to a child in your life this week.

Daily Readings

Sunday:          Luke 2:29-52

Monday:         Matthew 18:1-5

Tuesday:         Mark 9:33-37

Wednesday:    Luke 9:46-48

Thursday:       Matthew 19:13-15

Friday:            Mark 10:13-16

Saturday:        Luke 18:15-17

Monday-Wednesday readings and Thursday-Saturday readings are parallels: that is all three readings appear to tell of the same event.  What is the same?  What is different?  What is the role of the child or children?

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December 22, 2019: Zechariah’s Surprise Rejoice

Discussion Questions

How do you feel about surprises?

Describe a surprise that brought you joy.

How would you have felt if you were Zechariah?  Elizabeth?

What do you think the 9 months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy were like for them?

Acting on the Word

    Surprise someone with a random act of kindness.

Daily Readings (OR: Read from the Advent Devotional)

Sunday:          Luke 1:5-56

Monday:         Luke 1:57-80

Tuesday:         Luke 2:1-20

Wednesday:    Luke 2:21-38

Thursday:       Matthew 2:1-12

Friday:            Matthew 2:13-18

Saturday:        Matthew 2:19-23

How is God at work?  Is there joy present?  In what ways?

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December 15, 2019: Re-Building

Discussion Questions

What building projects have you been involved in?  How did they go?

When have you returned to an important place after a long time?  What was it like to return?  What had changed?  What was the same?

When have you witnessed joy and sorrow occurring at the same time?

Acting on the Word

    Talk with a friend or family member about a place that has had deep meaning for you.

Daily Readings (OR: Read from the Advent Devotional)

Sunday:          Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13

Monday:         Ezra 6:1-8

Tuesday:         Nehemiah 2:1-10

Wednesday:    Nehemiah 5:1-13

Thursday:       Nehemiah 4:14-19

Friday:            Nehemiah 8:2-18

Saturday:        Nehemiah 13:15-22

 

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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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