Great Sunday this week! Read through these questions before going through them with the group, and don’t feel pressured to do them all. Be aware of the room, we want to leave everyone wanting MORE, not looking at their watches annoyed we went over time.
Have each person choose one of these gratitude questions to answer:
- Day: What is one thing you are thankful for from your day?
- Person: What is one thing you are thankful for about a person you know (family member, coworker, friend, etc.)?
- God: What is one thing you are thankful for about God?
Chris emphasized a few specific things during the intro, body, and closing of his sermon:
- Our humility before the Lord. Confessing our pride. Being prepared and willing to hear and see Him.
- Recognizing that God is about to do something.
- Elkanah’s identification as a “nobody” person yet faithful to worship, not as an otherwise important celebrity.
- Being faithful to do what I know God has for me to do.
- Acknowledging that God has a clear design plan for marriage.
- We each have a role in the body of Christ (the church) based on God’s gifting and the needs of the body.
Our passage was 1 Samuel 1:1-7. These beginning verses identify a man who is faithful year after year to take his family to worship at the Tabernacle. The journey is physically challenging and, in those times, not safe. One wife, whom he clearly loves, is barren. The passage identifies a second wife who has sons and daughters, who delights in tormenting the barren wife. Despite his efforts, his family is dysfunctional.
Does this scenario seem hopeful? Is it something you can in some way identify with?
Who do you think keeps the family safe year after year on this journey? Who do you think provides the sacrifices for the family to take with them to worship as specified in the Law of Moses? What is God’s role in this?
In the Old Testament, during the time of Samuel, was God only present in the tabernacle? Chris mentioned that God traveled with them through the Israelites 40 year of wandering in the Wilderness. Is this any different than His normal presence with us? How is God present in your life? Are there times you feel He’s “just not there’? If so, how is that relational gulf bridged?
God Dwelling Among Us
- Chris reminded us of the beauty and severity of God’s holy presence as highlighted in Israel’s relationship with him through the tabernacle, temple, and ark of covenant. In love, God has done everything necessary to make it possible to dwell among his people (see Leviticus 26:11-12; Ezekiel 37:26-28; John 1:14; Rev. 21:3).
- Begin in prayer as a small group. Thank the Lord for his initiative to dwell among us. Ask for his presence to guide and transform us.
With a humble heart, jot down a few things in which God is faithful to allow you to come before Him and to have His Words shine light into your life. What gives you hope to stay faithful, or begin to be faithful, in the little, essential things? How can you express thanksgiving?
1 Samuel 1:1 was used by Chris to show that God uses nobodies to accomplish His plans. Is there any reason He can’t use you?