GodSpeak for the Week of August 12
“At the Table – Faith with Your Family at…a PICNIC”
This week, we continue our sermon series – looking at how the different tables we gather around inform our faith and lives. This week, we consider what we learn around a PICNIC table.
Day 1…Read Nehemiah 8:1-6 (focusing especially on v. 3)
- Consider this – we’re told that Ezra read…out loud, with folks attentive to his reading…from “daybreak” to noon. That’s potentially some 6 hours of reading Scripture!
- Answer this – how much time do you typically give to the reading of God’s Word? How long are you able to remain attentive to what He’s saying?
- Why is it important to spend significant amounts of time in God’s Word?
Day 2…Read Nehemiah 8:1-12 (focusing especially on v. 10)
- Consider this – the Hebrew word which gets translated as “choice food” literally means that kind of food which is “fat” and/or “richly prepared.” The Hebrew word for “sweet drinks” keeps the same connotation, which in today’s world we might associate with something like lemonade or sweet tea.
- Consider this – to Nehemiah’s call to enjoy these delights, he adds that the people are to “…send some to those who have nothing prepared.” (v. 10)
- Answer this – what does this idea of enjoying good food and sweet drink PAIRED WITH the call to provide for those who don’t have these things say about our faith?
- How can we better live out what Nehemiah was calling God’s people to live out in that day-and-age?
Day 3…Read Luke 7:36-47
- Consider this – the notion of “reclining” at a table was commonplace in Jesus’ day. However, it carries a relaxed, casual feel which we commonly associate with picnics.
- Answer this – even though Jesus is perhaps RELAXED, what is He still prepared to do?
- What does that say about our faith and witness? Even when relaxed, how are we called to be?
Day 4…Read Luke 7:36-47 (focusing on vv. 39-40)
- Consider this – Luke is careful to tell us that, when the Pharisaic host saw the sinful woman washing Jesus’ feet – the Pharisee “said to himself” his critique of Jesus. That is, either he THOUGHT it or said these words UNDER HIS BREATH such that no one else heard him.
- But, Jesus knew his thoughts!
- Answer this – given all of that, how does Jesus deal with the Pharisee’s thoughts and beliefs? Does Jesus call him out publicly/privately, directly/indirectly?
- Why do you think Jesus chooses to deal with the Pharisee in the way He does? What stands to be GAINED by Jesus acting this way? What could have been LOST had Jesus acted differently?
Day 5…Read John 3:1-8
- Consider this – one of the most refreshing things about enjoying a picnic is the BREEZE which blows around a picnic table.
- The Greek word for the Holy Spirit is “pneuma,” which happens to be the exact same Greek word for “wind.”
- Answer this – why is wind so refreshing at a picnic?
- As such, why is the “wind”/Holy Spirit so refreshing to our faith? What do the two have in common?
Day 6…Read John 3:1-8 (again)
- Answer this – what does Jesus mean when He says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (v. 8)