Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)
Gathering and Opening (10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, discuss the following: “Do you find silence awkward or uncomfortable, or do you welcome it? Why?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: Luke 12:49-56
- Do you find Jesus’ words in verses 49-53 startling? Why or why not? [It is a common assumption that Jesus speaks only words of “love” and “peace.” Here, we see something different. Jesus is presented as a fiery prophet.]
- How does this passage fulfill what Simeon prophesized about Jesus in Luke 2:34-35 and what John the Baptist believed in Luke 3:16?
- Read Isaiah 5:1-7. How is the story of the beloved and the vineyard like the story of God and Israel? [Israel is God’s beloved that God has nurtured and protected and expected the fruit of righteousness, yet found wickedness.]
- What did the beloved expect? What did the beloved find? What will be the result? [Judgment]
- What does the Lord expect of the people of God (v. 7)?
- How is Jesus’ ministry similar to what we find in the prophets (especially as we see in Isaiah 5:1-7)? [There are expectations of God’s people doing justice and living righteously. Failure to be obedient to God’s ways brings judgment upon God’s people.]
- How can your church be more attentive to God?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). Before ending in prayer, spend at least one minute in silence:
Ever-present God, we confess that we have not been the people of righteousness and justice. Individually and as the church, we have failed to glorify you or make your name and character known to the nations. Forgive us for our disobedience. By your Holy Spirit, place within us new desires for obedience, righteousness, and justice. Amen.