Week 6: Living the Celebration
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal. (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share what they are looking forward to the most in 2021.
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read Ephesians 1:3-14
- Notice the repetition of the phrases “in Christ,” “in him,” “through Jesus [Christ],” and “on Christ.” What do we learn about Christ from this passage?
- Notice that we have been “blessed” (v. 3). What do we learn about humanity from this passage? [We are chosen (v. 4) to be holy and blameless in love; we have been destined for adoption (v. 5); God’s grace has been freely bestowed on us (v. 6); we have been redeemed and received forgiveness (v. 7); we will know more fully the mysteries of God (v. 9);we have obtained an inheritance (v. 11); we have hope in Christ (v. 12); we are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit (v. 13).] Write down or print these phrases as a reminder of who you are. Refer to them at least daily over the coming week (or even throughout the year!).
- Which of these speak most deeply to you as you seek to live the celebration of the company who have come?
- How might you live in celebration of the hope we have in Christ this coming year?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). Ask for a volunteer to lead the group in prayer or read the following prayer in unison:
God of all wisdom and truth, our minds cannot grasp the enormity of your love. As we begin this new calendar year, help us to live into the calling you have given us. Enable us to embrace the hope that comes through Jesus Christ that others might know your love. Amen.
- Discipleship Ministries, www.umcdiscipleship.org
- Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/engaging-your-community-a-guide-to-seeing-all-the-people-2/
- Forming Disciples Through Worship, https://store.umcdiscipleship.org/product/forming-disciples-through-worship/
- “Making the Most of Online Small Groups,” https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/articles/making-the-most-of-online-small-groups
- Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness https://upperroombooks.com/soulreset/
- Online teaching series – “How to Start Small Groups,” https://discipleship-ministries.teachable.com/courses/