Alive in Christ. Transformed for Mission.

HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, December 9th)

The Gospel of Luke is a detailed eyewitness reporting of the chronology of Jesus’ life and death. Our reading this week centres on what is sometimes referred to as the Magnificat (literally, “{my soul} magnifies {the Lord}), also known as the Song of Mary, which she spoke in celebration of the child growing in her womb.

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:46-56

What is one word, phrase, or thought that sticks out for you after reading this passage, and why?

In this hymn of thanksgiving, what are some of the reasons Mary offers for why she glorifies and rejoices in the Lord? For each one you identify, reframe it in a context that resonates with you today. E.g. verse 48 might read, “He remembers those who trust in Him, especially those who don’t stand out in a crowd.”

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (v. 50) What do you think is the meaning behind this verse? What do you think someone who “fears the Lord” understands that those who do not fear Him, do not?

In verses 46-49, Mary’s praise is personal; it’s about her. Then, in verses 50-55, she moves her focus to what God has done for others. Why do you think this is such a powerful testimony and a good model for our own prayer life?

If you were to write your own Song of Praise, what would be a line from it?

HOUSE CHURCH QUESTIONS (based on the Message for Sunday, December 2nd)

This week, we continue our study of 2 Timothy. In this letter, the apostle Paul encourages his young friend and co-worker, Timothy, to persevere in faith and the good news of Jesus Christ despite struggle and suffering. Paul himself writes while imprisoned in Rome, not long before his own death, and his writing reflects a deeply personal call for Timothy (and Christians everywhere) to live boldly for the Gospel.

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

•What is one thing that leaps out to you after reading this passage together? This might be a simple thought, a question, a confirmation, a conviction, or something else entirely.

•This passage contains Paul’s final charge to Timothy as a leader and teacher of the Gospel. What does Paul task Timothy with, and why? Which of these tasks do you find most difficult in your life?

•Sometimes we fall into the pattern of reading the Bible the same way we might read a self-help book; we pick out our favourite passages and skip over the ones that confuse us or make us uncomfortable. What might be some unintended consequences of reading the Bible this way? How do verses 3-4 speak to this idea?

•In a time when we can access the whole of human thought, debate and information via the Internet, how do you go about finding “sound doctrine”?

•In verses 6-8, Paul recognizes that he is close to death, and presents himself as confident, having “fought the good fight”, and secure in the promise of what is to come. Can you think of anyone in your life who exemplifies this kind of confidence in the Kingdom of God? What do you think we can learn from this kind of “eternal perspective” as we live our lives today?

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