Saturday, April 14, 2012
Scriptures for May 13th: Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17; Theme: What does the Love of God Mean for you? Song: Come Thou Font of Every Blessing – UMH 400 Acts: Peter is still at Cornelius’ house, and the Holy Spirit is still pouring out blessings and new understandings for Peter. The book of Acts starts with the Pentecost, when the Holy spirit came upon the believers in Jerusalem. Where here, the gentiles who hear the story and believe start to also speak in tongues. Peter realizes that God shows no favoritism, that salvation is a gift that is offered to all. Peter also realizes that he can’t just walk away now. That he has to baptize this household and treat them like he would any other sister or brother. He knows that God is calling him to get to know other gentiles and to trust that the Holy Spirit is leading them to Christ. John: Jesus continues to talk about the love of God. Loving God means obeying God and God’s son. Jesus says something interesting to the disciples – “I no longer treat you as servants, I treat you as friends.” That is huge! The entire old testament says that a follower of God must be a suffering servant. They must always respect the word of God. And here the son of God is making you an equal. He also reminds us and them that we are here, not because we ourselves want to be, but because God called us. God chose us before we chose God. He chose us to be his friends. We have access to all that God is, if we read the scripture, and do indeed obey God as if we were a servant. In order for us to know we are loved, we have to love. Questions: What does it mean for us that God works in the lives of all people? How does that affect the way we treat people? How do we get back to the faith of Acts – one where there are always people in our lives who need us to tell the story of Jesus? What does it mean to be a friend of God? What does it mean to be a servant of God? If we are chosen by God, and not the other way around, what does it mean to be free? What would the world be like without the love of God?
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Scriptures for April 15th: Hebrews 12:14-25; John 20:19-31; Act 4:32-35, Psalm 133 Theme: There is life after Easter; Song: Christ the Lord is Risen Hebrews: This is a warning not to dismiss God. To make sure that we honor God and honor the things of God. This is not a lectionary text, but something for us to think about after the Easter is over. Easter is not just one day, it should be a lifetime. There are 50 days in the Easter season. Our lesson for today is about mountains. Specifically about the mountain of God. It talks about Moses experience on the mountain, as he was able to talk with God. That mountain does not exist for us, no one knows where it is. But we can come to a spiritual mountain in order to talk with God. When God speaks to us, we are not to be afraid, but should honor God and love God. And make sure that we pass that love onto one another. John: In all of the gospels except for Mark, we have material to see what Christ is doing after he is resurrected. He walks around and talks to many people. The disciples discovered the miracle of the resurrection on Sunday. But Thomas stayed behind, and did not see. He did not believe when it was told to him that Jesus us alive. So Jesus appears to Thomas, but he brings to all of his disciples peace. He also gives us another gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of tough times, we can know that Christ has sent a comforter to help you through. After the resurrection you cant always see the comforter, the he is always there. He gives us the strength to have peace. But it is not a peace that is given by the world, it is a special peace, that only the faithful can see and understand. Because we understand the power of resurrection on Jesus and on ourselves. Questions: Where to do go to experience the holiness of God? How does the holiness of God change us? Is it easy to see the holiness of God in other people? What is the difference between fear of God and awe of God? Now that Easter is over, what needs to be done in order to make the time special? How easy is it for you to accept questions of faith? Do you believe in the nails of Christ, or is it all just a myth? What does it mean to have peace in your life? How do you know that the Holy Spirit is real?