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Spiritual Discipline of Starting Over - John 20: 1-29 April 21, 2019

  1. What does it mean to start over? Think of a time when you had to start over. A job, a relationship, your life with Jesus? What are some positive aspects of starting over? What was the downside?

  2. Who does Mary see when she comes to the Garden? What are some possible reasons that Mary does not recognize Jesus when she first sees him? What does Jesus say to Mary that helps her recognize him? What is significant about the word that Jesus speaks to Mary?

  3. How does the truth of the resurrection overcome the Disciple’s fear and Mary’s grief? How do these truths help you use the truth of the resurrection to minister to those who are fearful or grieving?

  4. Why are the Disciples behind locked doors? (vs. 19) Who are they afraid of? How has their fear kept them from doing what they know Jesus would want them to do? Have you ever experienced fear that keeps you from accomplishing God’s will in your life?

  5. Jesus breathes his divine breath on the Disciples and gives them the Holy Spirit. (vs. 21-23) The Spirit of God was present from the beginning (Genesis 1) and was given to specific people for specific tasks. Here is was given to the Disciples, but what was their task? How do you think this relates to the giving of the Spirit in Acts 2? Is there a difference?

  6. What is your response to the resurrection today? What difference does it make that Jesus has risen from the dead? How does it affect your life?

  7. We talked this morning about how the resurrection is tied to starting over. Where do you need to start over this week?

    Heal a broken relationship

    Change your life’s direction

    See a new way to live

    Do you feel that Jesus resurrection power strengthens you to do these acts of starting over? How?

    Additional Scripture

    Isaiah 43: 16-19

    Lamentations 3: 22-24

    2 Corinthians 5: 16-21

    Revelations 21:3-5

    Prayer

    Living Lord, our Savior Jesus, we praise You - for You are raised by the power of God and in You there is newness of life, and by your grace, we are in it! Alleluia! Amen

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"Spiritual Discipline of Waking Up to God" Genesis 28: 10-16 John 12: 12-36 April 14, 2019

  1. Where have you encountered God in the world?

    Describe the situation, the physical attributes of your sacred place, and explain the emotions, if any, the experience evoked in you?

  2. Do you think God is more present in some places than in other places? If so, What do you think accounts for the difference?

  3. Can you think of a time in your life when you, like Jacob, have “woken up to God” (4)? Where were you? How have you marked or remembered those times and places?

  4. Why is it easy to put God in a box, to confine God to a particular Space in our lives? Barbara Brown Taylor in her book “An Altar in the World” asks “ Do we build God a house in lieu of having God stay at ours"?” is it easier to make God manageable when we say that we only encounter God in Church?

  5. How were the cheering crowds eyes closed to the reality of Jesus’ Identity as the Messiah? What did they miss because they were not awake to God?

  6. Following the events of Palm Sunday, Jesus speaks to the crowds in the Temple. What are some repeated words or phrases Jesus uses in John 12: 20-36? What are the importance of those words?

  7. Why is it important for John to include the Greeks who come to see Jesus? (vs: 20-23) How were the Greeks eyes open to Jesus? What did they want from Him?

  8. What does it mean that Jesus needs to be “lifted up” (vs: 32-33) - Numbers 21:4-9, John 3: 14-16)

  9. The New Testament apostles explain what Jesus’ death accomplished. Read 2 Corinthians 5: 20-21, Galatians 2:20 and write down how those passages impact you.

  10. What helps you to, or hinders you, from being awake to God’s presence in your life? What can you do to be more awake to God?

    Prayer

    Gracious God, as we stand at the gates of the city, give us grace to recognize the King we proclaim - and courage to be a part of Your Kingdom. Even when it goes against our ways and the ways of the world, even when it leads us where we do not want to go.

    Empower us to free ourselves from the tempting alternatives of power and wealth and status. Embolden us to live lives of thanksgiving and praise.

    Peace in Heaven - and glory in the highest Heaven!

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