The last two weeks at New Hope we have heard sermons that connect with Jesus. Which makes sense since we are in the season of Lent. We heard a sermon about the 3rd way that Jesus often takes and last week we heard Russ talk about how Jesus shows us a path that let's our children flourish in this world.
Jesus turned things upside down. The religion that was born out of God and the Israelites became stagnate and Jesus came to usher humanity to the next level of faith. And two thousand years later we are still trying to get it right.
During this Lent season let's try to be more Christ-like, to be align with God, and to have the heart that God has for people. Because if we begin to love our neighbor as ourselves, the world could become a better place.
3rd Way Sermon Questions (You can listen to the sermon by clicking here)
Where do you need the 3rd way in your life?
What about what is going on in our country? Whether it is politics, media, social media, etc. we tend to jump into two different camps and yell at each other. What are some creative ways that we could find a 3rd way together?
When have you experienced people being used as "things" in an argument? How did that feel?
The Big Change Sermon Questions (You can listen to the sermon here)
There are lots of topics and issues for reflection this week. Pick the ones that have the most energy for you! Some are great for individual reflection (journaling, prayer, etc.) and others are ideal for discussions. Timing notes refer to the sermon recording (above)
"We have created a world that is not very safe for children" (2:18).
In what ways is the world safer for children than before? What has made it that way?
In what ways is the world unsafe for children? In what ways are they most vulnerable?
"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (5:25). The Lord's Prayer is not a formula for getting what we want from God, but a tool for aligning us with the desires of God.
What parts of the Lord's Prayer are most compelling for you this week?
"The Kingdom of God" (8:15)
Some words were used to expand the meaning of the word "kingdom." Which ones resonated best with you?
What other words and phrases would you add to this list?
Another list was created (8:45) to illustrate what it looks like when the will of God is accomplished "on earth as it is in heaven." What are some concrete examples where you have seen those things in your own life? What other examples would you add?
Where is the will of God being worked in your life? How is it being worked through your life?
"How does this contribute to a world where children can thrive?" (15:30) The will of God on earth is more than this, but it is no less.
How would a question like this correspond to the Kingdom of God? Where would it not?
What are the things you are part of that focus on the needs of individual children?
What are the things you participate in that benefits the 'ecosystem' for children?
What are the things that you will do/not do, or say/not say that can contribute to a world where children thrive? What changes will need to be made for that to happen?
What other ways do you sense God is wanting to work in you and through you so that the will of God is being done on earth?
What are the ways you are experiencing the Holy Discontent (3:20) of God as an impetus for a needed change in you? In your world?
How does the idea that God's discontent is experienced through our own emotions (frustration, anger, sadness, yearning, etc.) affect the way you will pray this week?