Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “When was a time that you had high expectations only to be let down?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Isaiah 5:1-7.
- Why do you think the prophet gives this judgment in the form of a love-song? [Displays God’s concern, care, and desire for the covenant people.]
- Who does the prophet identify as the vineyard of the Lord (v. 7)?
- What did God do for the vineyard and what did he expect from it (v. 2)? What does the prophet say God found instead of grapes (v. 2)? Why is that the case?
- Read verse 7 in as many translations as are available to your group. The Hebrew wordplay is difficult to translate, as the word “justice” and “bloodshed” are similar sounding words, as are “righteousness” and “cry of distress.”
- The sermon notes for this week played on the idea of church buildings being likened to vineyards in the care and maintenance that given to them. Additionally, the likeness is that church buildings should yield a certain “fruitfulness” when it comes to the Christian life. How is this comparison helpful?
- (R) What does this passage tell us about God? What does this passage tell us about the community of believers?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of righteousness, the Holy Spirit continues to seek and empower believers that they might live fruitful lives of righteousness. Help us to be fertile ground where the Word of God will take deep root within our lives that others might experience a glimpse of your glory through us. May your church be outposts of healing and grace for those in need. Amen.