Here is the link to this Sunday’s lessons. And here are the questions for us to prayerfully consider. We hope you will find them a useful resource as you prepare to receive them in one of our worship services online this Sunday.
In this sermon, Paul reveals a broad sense of God and how God relates to humanity. Paul indicates that even those who do not consciously worship the same God that he does, still have a connection to God. God is so much bigger than our religions. In fact, Paul explains that all of us exist within God. Paul even quoted a pagan poet to prove his point: “’In God we live and move and have our being.’” Does this more open view of God and faith raise questions for you and what you believe? How might this more open view change how you treat those with different beliefs? In this sermon, Paul demonstrates both respect for others and their beliefs; and a strong faith in Jesus.
The back story of this psalm seems difficult. The psalmist describes parts of life that have been hard and yet how he has remained faithful. I get the impression of a wrestling match between the psalmist, his life, and God. Life does not always work out as we planned, and we look to God to make things right. Even then, the result may not be what we want. Do you ever feel that way about your life and God?
1 Peter 3:13-22
Read this short passage through three times—it is thick with different ideas, some of which are hard to understand. After each reading, write down what stands out to you. Then write down your questions. Try to go back to this passage through the week and consider what it means for you and your faith. For example, how would you give an account to someone for the hope that is in you?
On the last night of Jesus’ life with them before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus made clear that they were entering a period of transition. This change would be hard, but better for them, even without Jesus physically present. He offered them two main things—the centrality of love and the presence of God’s Spirit to keep them honest and growing and wise. Two thousand years later, that is still Jesus’ promise and command to us—the Spirit is with us to help us be real and loving in all that we do. During this challenging time for all of us (some much more than others), when have you felt God’s presence? When have you been able to love or be loved in a way that confirmed God’s presence to you?