Grace Church Learning Guide

Week of January 5th 2020

There's a New Sheriff in Town

John Ray

Mark 1: 21-45 (NET)

 

 

For a PDF of the Learning Guide, Click Here.

THE BIG IDEA

Jesus establishes His authority through a combination of his head, hand, and heart. His followers are called to do the same.

GROUP DISCUSSION

As you read the passage this week, talk about the part where people exclaimed that Jesus “had authority not like the experts of the law”. What does that mean? Where do you see that authority demonstrated? 

 

Also, spend some time considering where our authority comes from, collectively, as a Church. Where are we doing it well? Where are we lacking? How do we, collectively, follow Jesus and practice the ways  Jesus shows us in this passage?

PERSONAL REFLECTION

While I’m not a big believer in New Year's resolutions, I am a huge fan of living intentionally, of being purposeful in our practices and habits. Take some time this week to consider the combination of Jesus’s actions in the passage. Consider how Jesus demonstrated who he was in what he said, what he did and what he loved. What about us? What practices and habits will we intentionally devote ourselves to that develop our hearts, mind and actions? Write them down. Share them with someone to help stay the course. Make the necessary adjustments to our schedule, finances, commitments to practice them. 

RESOURCES

LOOKING AHEAD 

Next week as we continue to examine who Jesus is in the gospel of Mark, we take a look at Jesus the forgiver of sins.. Check it out in Mark 1:2-22.

 

Grace Church Learning Guide

Week of January 12th 2020

Time for New Wineskins

John Ray

Mark 2: 1-22 (NET)

 

 

 

For a PDF of the Learning Guide, Click Here.

THE BIG IDEA

Jesus, with the authority He brings, changes everything, but to enter it, we need to let go of the old.   

GROUP DISCUSSION

As you read this passage, what are the things you see Jesus coming into conflict with? What things are obvious, what things are less so? What do you think people’s main “hang up” are with Jesus in this passage? How does He respond when confronted? How does this inform the way we should respond when we are confronted? As a Church, what are “New wineskins” for us?

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Any season of change involves letting go of. Sometimes that easy and welcome, we are done with, tired of the old ways. They’re ragged and worn out. Other times it’s worse than pulling teeth. We love the ways things are, we cherish the current situation. Take some time out and give a listen “Back to Square One” from Eugene Peterson given a few years back. Consider what you might need to let go of to receive what is to come.

RESOURCES

LOOKING AHEAD 

Next week, we are transitioning from the historical/biographical nature of the book of Mark, and examining the words of Jesus. He often taught in metaphor, called parables, and we will see a few of those next week. Read about it in Mark 4:1-34.

 

 

ODDS AND ENDS 

Wanna start talking about the upcoming election? Me neither, but there is something we must talk about

 

 

 

Grace Church Learning Guide

Week of January 19, 2020

The Reason for the Light

John Ray

Mark 4:1-34 (NET)

 

 

 

For a PDF of the Learning Guide, Click Here.

THE BIG IDEA

The reason for the seed to produce food, shelter and comfort. The reason for the light is to dispel the darkness and reveal things as they are.    

GROUP DISCUSSION

The parable of the sower has been preached a million different ways, but one of the most common is in a manner to make the listener feel responsible for being “good soil.” Is that the best way to read this? Maybe start by asking who the “hero” of the story is. What is the purpose of the seed? It’s also good to think about who we consider ourselves to be in this story. Consider the reaction of the disciples and Jesus’ reaction to them. What is this speaking to your group? To us as a church?

PERSONAL REFLECTION

We have to be careful when meditating on parables not to make them into something they are not. Our temptation is to squeeze principles or hammer instructions out of them. This week, I want you to set that kind of thinking aside and read the parable once each day, verses 3-8, 21-22, 26-29,and 31-32. Let them just settle in you. Don’t try to disect or categorize. They’re pretty short, so maybe memorize them and talk about them with your friends, spouse or kiddos. Notice what emotions or images they bring to your mind and heart.

RESOURCES

LOOKING AHEAD 

Next week we will look at one healing event in Jesus’ life, when he heals one who is demon possessed. Read about it in Mark 5:1-20.

 

 

ODDS AND ENDS 

Other resources, websites, articles, etc.. not related directly to the text but interesting nonetheless.

MLK is Monday. Maybe sign up for this class as a way to do something practical?

 

 

 

Grace Church Learning Guide

Week of January 26, 2020

In It to Win It

John Ray

Mark 5:1-20 (NET)

 

 

 

For a PDF of the Learning Guide, Click Here.

THE BIG IDEA

Jesus establishes His authority outside the borders of Israel and over all realms, including the spooky ones. 

GROUP DISCUSSION

The parable of the sower has been preached a million different ways, but one of the most common is in a manner to make the listener feel responsible for being “good soil.” Is that the best way to read this? Maybe start by asking who the “hero” of the story is. What is the purpose of the seed? It’s also good to think about who we consider ourselves to be in this story. Consider the reaction of the disciples and Jesus’ reaction to them. What is this speaking to your group? To us as a church?

PERSONAL REFLECTION

We have to be careful when meditating on parables not to make them into something they are not. Our temptation is to squeeze principles or hammer instructions out of them. This week, I want you to set that kind of thinking aside and read the parable once each day, verses 3-8, 21-22, 26-29,and 31-32. Let them just settle in you. Don’t try to disect or categorize. They’re pretty short, so maybe memorize them and talk about them with your friends, spouse or kiddos. Notice what emotions or images they bring to your mind and heart.

RESOURCES

LOOKING AHEAD 

Next week we will look at one healing event in Jesus’ life, when he heals one who is demon possessed. Read about it in Mark 5:1-20.

 

 

ODDS AND ENDS 

Other resources, websites, articles, etc.. not related directly to the text but interesting nonetheless.

MLK is Monday. Maybe sign up for this class as a way to do something practical?

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