51 results for author: hcsecretary


Word Studies for the Week of January 21, 2018

January 21 ● Epiphany 3 - God Revealed: Answering the Call ● Jonah 3:1-10 Read Jonah Chapter 1, what happened when Jonah first heard God’s word asking him to go and preach to Nineveh? What might have made him act this way? How did Jonah get into the belly of the fish? What was the reason he found himself in this situation? Are there some things that Jonah got right? According to chapter 2 what does Jonah do when he is in the fish? Why is this important? What details are strike you in Jonah’s words? According to 3:1 what happens as soon as Jonah is out on dry land? What does this tell us about the nature of God? How is what God ...

Word Studies for the Week of January 14, 2018

January 14 ● Epiphany 2 - God Revealed: Hearing the Call ● 1 Samuel 3:1-20 Read 1 Samuel 3:1; does this situation that Eli and Samuel describe resonate with you? What aspect of the situation applies most to today? Describe how the text portrays Samuel as he hears God’s voice for the first time? What role does Eli play in the account? Samuel is given a hard message to bring to Eli, why did God choose to use Samuel rather than speak to Eli directly? Is there an implied relationship between the sins of Eli sons and the lack of God in the land portrayed in the text? If so how might this be a challenge for us who live in a secular ...

Word Studies for the Week of January 7, 2018

January 7 ● Epiphany Sunday - The Coming God: God Revealed ● Matthew 2:1-12 The ancients believed that signs in the heaven were portents of great or terrible events. Do people still feel that way today? Why or why not? What events going on in the world might you see God’s hand working? Explain how you see God at work. Why was the coming of the Messiah bad news for Herod? When might people become afraid of God coming into the world? Should they be? Why is Bethlehem so important a place for ancient Judaism? Who besides Jesus was born there? Is it significant that the Magi came from outside Israel? What might that say about who Jesus ...

Word Studies for the Week of December 31, 2017

December 31 ● Sunday After Christmas - The Coming God: Where God is Found ● Luke 2:21-40 What faith practices (prayer, worship, witness, service or giving) help you see Jesus the clearest and why? Read Luke 2:25-28; does the text identify Simeon as a priest? Does it make a difference if he is not? What might the message say if he was just a lay person. The Holy Family brings Jesus to be circumcised and dedicated at the temple. Who were they really doing this for? For Jesus? For themselves? Both? Explain. Seeing the child Jesus gave Simeon hope and comfort and assurance of God’s plan. What signs are you looking for to help you see ...

Word Studies for the Week of December 24, 2017

December 24 ● Advent 4 - The Coming God: God is One of Us ● Luke 1:26-38 Luke 1:35 describes how the power of the Holy Spirit will come upon Mary to bring Jesus into the world, think about how you would feel if you were in Mary’s place? Luke 1:37 states that nothing is impossible with God; think about the aspects of the coming of Jesus that would seem impossible to people without faith, what do they say about the power of God? Mary repeats the Hebrew pattern (Samuel, Isaiah) of standing up and saying to God “Here I am”; what do you think this means? What does it mean for you to stand up for God? In Luke 1:38 Mary states “let it ...

Word Studies for the Week of December 17, 2017

December 17 ● Advent 3 - The Coming God: A Message of Liberty ● Isaiah 61:1-11 What does freedom look like to you? What are some of the things people need to be freed from? What are some of the things that people need to be freed for? What good word do people most need to hear today? Do you think that word is getting out? Or do we need to find ways to better communicate it? Isaiah 61:1-2 shows how the good news can bind broken hearts, set free those in bondage, remove the veil of shame, and comfort the mourning, what has the Good News done in your life? In your daily life experience, what are some of the things that are keeping people ...

Word Studies for the Week of December 10, 2017

December 10 ● Advent 2 - The Coming God: A Message of Forgiveness ● Mark 1:1-8 Mark places the beginning of the Gospel at the coming of John the Baptist. When did your experience with the Gospel begin? Who was the messenger who brought it to you? How would you prepare the way of the Lord in your life? What practice do you follow that helps you see God at work in your life? What does repentance look like to you? What kinds of things would it involve? How does this word make you feel? The Hebrew word for repentance means to turn around, the Greek word to change one’s mind. How do these ideas inform your idea about what repentance might ...

Word Studies for the Week of December 3, 2017

December 3 ● Advent 1 - The Coming God: Awake to the Signs ● Mark 13:24-37 Are you optimistic about our world today, or are you worried? What evidence makes you feel this way? What do the “signs of the times” say to you today? What is going on in the world and what does that say about how our world is? In Mark 13:27 promises to gather those chosen by God together. Why is it important for people to stick together when a great change happens? Mark 13:30 states that the generation Jesus was speaking to would not pass away until the signs took place. What happened in that time that the signs could be pointing to? Mark 13:32 reminds ...

Word Studies for the Week of November 19th, 2017

November 19 ● Welcoming the Kingdom: Be Bold ● Matthew 25: 14-30 Is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30 really about money or is the point something else? Explain. How does this parable make you feel, when you compare it to your own life of discipleship? How do you think it is supposed to make you feel? Is there a relationship between how much you put into your discipleship and what you get out of it? Why or why not? A pastor friend says that you can see what really matters to people by looking at their calendar and their check book; is this true? Why or why not? How do you think the two successful servants felt about ...

Word Studies for the Week of November 26th, 2017

November 26 ● Christ the King Sunday - Welcoming the Kingdom: Be Compassionate ● Matthew 25: 31-46 Describe your thoughts about the judgment of the sheep and the goats. What does verse 34 tell us about God’s love? How long has God been waiting to bring His children home? Since people really do not know their own status until the final day, what does that day say about how people can accomplish God’s will? Where does this text say we can find Jesus? What should that mean for us today? How can this text become a focus of where our community should be spending its time? Review the list of ways that the Son of Man said he was ...