Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “Who do you know that you would identify as having a comforting presence? How does that person demonstrate comfort?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Luke 13:31-35.
- When Jesus refers to Herod as a fox, he does not mean that in the sense we might note someone as “foxy.” This is a fox as in someone who is a deceiver or duplicitous.
- When the Pharisees suggest that Jesus should leave, how does Jesus’ response indicate that he does not feel threatened? What does this reveal about Jesus’ mission?
- Read Isaiah 31:5, Psalm 91:4. What do we learn about Jesus’ mission (and desire) from verse 34? [Even to the wrong and unwilling, God desires to extend to them relief, protection, and care.] What does this reveal about God’s nature?
- Read Jeremiah 22:1-5 and Psalm 118. How does verse 35 seem to contain both a threat and a promise? [The Jeremiah passage indicates a threat of desolation if there is no repentance. Psalm 118 is a psalm of victory, trusting in God’s steadfast love.]
- (R) How does it make you feel that no matter how much you believe you’ve failed or messed up, God still desires to gather you up for your protection and care?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of Hope, we give you thanks that you promise to never leave us or forsake us. Help us run to you in our weakness. Empower us to repent as people of hope that you will redeem all situations for good. Amen.