Category: Going Deeper

01.19.2019

GOING DEEPER

01.19.2020 | UNDONE | Wk 3: “We Will Be Remade”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is your favorite work of art (painting, piece of music, story, book, etc.)? Why do you like it so much? 

 

The Dig

Read Ephesians 4:1-5.

This passage is written by Paul to a church community (not to us as individuals) that has gone through breaking & is beginning to look forward to what’s next for its future. 

First, reflect on the opening line of the passage. What does it mean for a church to be a “prisoner for the Lord”? What does it mean for a church to “live a life worthy of the calling” it has received? 

After this opening line, Paul urges the church to:

  • Be humble & gentle with each other
  • Be patient & loving in conflict resolution
  • Remain connected in spirit & peace

Why do you think Paul starts with these three attributes as he seeks to guide this church community forward? 

What do you think it looks like for a church to practice these attributes after a season of breaking & conflict?

Next, read Ephesians 4:6-16.

Paul follows up his opening by reminding the church that they are called to be defined by unity – pointing to Christ’s hope, faith, & story as things that should produce unity in the Body of Christ / any community of believers. 

Why do you think Paul sees unity as crucial for his vision of a healthy community / body coming out of breaking & hardship?

What does unity look like for a Christian community that has experienced breaking? 

Paul’s image of the church is one of Christ’s own body in the world – with each member relying on each other, trusting each other, & committing their specific gifts, skills, talents, & service to produce a body that works in unity & is greater than the sum of its individual parts.

How does this imagery impact your understanding of a healthy church? 

What does it look like for a body to heal & return to healthy operation? How does this impact your understanding of what a church is called to do after a season of brokenness? 

Close by reflecting on the fact that Paul sees this as being possible if a community is knitted together by the love of Christ & neighbor shared amongst its members

How does love take these separate, diverse pieces & connect them in a way that produces the unity that Paul sees as central to the church’s existence in the world? 

What role do you currently play in your community? If you don’t have one already, why not? What role might you play in Christ’s body? 

Close by reflecting on how you can give back by taking part in the Body of Christ in this next season. 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time this week to reflect on what it means for our community to be remade by God. 

What does unity look like for E3 in this next season? What roles can you play in the community?

What is one step you can take to build up our community in this next season? 

Journal about your answers to these questions & pray for insights. Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

Ephesians for Everybody by NT Wright

The New Testament & The People of God by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, January 26: Join us for the third week of our series UNDONE. We will be looking at what it means for the Church, as a community of disciples, to experience unity & remaking as it moves forward.. 

 

* Please see mye3.org for details.

01.12.2020

GOING DEEPER

01.12.2020 | UNDONE | Wk 2: “We Were Undone”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What was the best group vacation you’ve ever been on (family, group of friends, etc.)? Why?

The Dig

Read Acts 2:42-47. Does this description of community match what you have usually found in your church experiences? What overlaps with your experience? What contradicts it? 

Reflect on the key activities of this community:

  • Devoted to the Apostles Teaching (learning & applying the story of Jesus’ death & resurrection)
  • Fellowship (interconnectedness of life together)
  • Breaking Bread (intimate life-sharing & re-telling the story of death & resurrection through communion)
  • Sharing everything in common & sacrificing generously for all those in need
  • Prayer & Meeting together in the Temple Courts (worship individually & in large gatherings)
  • Meeting in each others homes (small groups)

Which of these is most appealing to you when you think of being part of a community? Why? 

Which of these activities do you think is hardest to develop in a community? Why?

Reflect on how this passage flows. The first piece refers to the disciples devoting themselves to a life of learning & figuring out how Christ’s story of death & resurrection impacts everything in their reality. In a way, each activity is depicted as fruit of the Church growing in its understanding of this new reality. 

How do each of these activities flow out of a church growing in its understanding of death & resurrection? 

How does this foundation impact how you understand each activity?

Take a moment to think about how these activities might reflect a healthy community. How do you think these attributes help a community remain healthy? Which do you think is most important for a community to stay healthy?

From this moment, the Church is depicted as experiencing challenges, hardships, & trials. In many New Testament stories, the Church is most unhealthy in these experiences when it forgets Christ’s story & stops taking part in these practices

How might these practices impact how a community faces hardship & trials? Which would be the hardest for a community to maintain in the face of breaking or coming undone

Why might the loss of these activities reflect an unhealthy community

How might holding onto or returning to these practices in seasons of breaking & coming undone help a community healing & grow after it experiences hard times? 

Reflect on where you need to find yourself in this passage. 

Which activity do you need to lean into in this coming year? Why? What is one step you can take to move forward in this area of practice? 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time this week to reflect on what it means for our community to be undone & remade by God. 

How can E3’s struggles as a community help it become more of what it is meant to be? 

Where can you help E3 discover its story of remaking & resurrection?  

What is one step you can take to engage community in a deeper way & give back to the community? 

Journal about your answers to these questions & pray for insights. Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

Acts for Everybody by NT Wright

The New Testament & The People of God by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, January 19: Join us for the third week of our series UNDONE. We will be looking at what it means for the Church, as a community of disciples, to experience resurrection & remaking as it heals & move forward.. 
* Please see mye3.org for details.

01.05.2020

GOING DEEPER

01.05.2020 | UNDONE | Wk 1: “I Was Undone”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is something new you want to do this year? Anything you are super excited about? 

 

The Dig

What comes to mind when you hear the word weakness? What about strength? When do you feel weak or strong?

Read 2 Corinthians 11:22-33. 

Paul is boasting – an ancient practice of promoting one’s strengths, successes, or achievements. However, what he includes would be the exact opposite of what someone in his culture would expect to find in a Roman boast. 

How do you respond to the list that Paul puts forward? Does anything, in particular, stand out from it? 

How do you respond to the idea that Paul boasts about his weaknesses

Next, read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

How does this impact how you interpret the previous text? How does God’s power & grace impact how we understand weakness & strength

How does this illuminate Paul’s claim that when he is weak, then he is strong

One of Paul’s central beliefs is that, in Christ, our shame of weakness is undone. That grace means we no longer need to hide our weaknesses because, in Christ, our areas of weakness & failure can become the areas of truest growth, resurrection, & newness in our lives. 

How do you respond to the idea that failure, falling down, & brokenness are the pathways the God uses to see us grown, resurrected, & made new

If this is how Paul sees these areas of weakness – what, if anything, holds you back from sharing (or boasting about) your own areas of weakness like he does? 

How might a deeper understanding or acceptance of God’s grace change how you view & share that area of your life?  

How does not talking about it keep you from finding healing & allowing God’s grace/power to work in that area of your life? 

Close by taking time to boast, as Paul does, in our weakness

Where have we experienced God’s healing in an area of weakness & brokenness in our lives? 

Where do we currently need to boast or confess an area of weakness in our lives? 

What would it look like to find God’s grace & power in that area in this New Year? 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time this week to reflect on what it means to be undone & remade by God. 

When have you experienced coming undone? What did it look like to find healing & to be remade after?

Where, currently, do you need to experience coming undone so God can lead you to something new & better?  

What is one step you can take this New Year to begin seeing change & newness in that area of your life? 

Journal about your answers to these questions & pray for insights. Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Falling Upward by Richard Rohr

2 Corinthians for Everybody by NT Wright

Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, January 12: Join us for the second week of our series UNDONE. We will be looking at what it means for the Church, as a community of disciples, to experience resurrection & new life on the other side of being broken. 
* Please see mye3.org for details.

12.22.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.22.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 4: “Love”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is something that you are embarrassed to tell people you love to do? 

 

The Dig

Read Matthew 5:43-48.

First, reflect on how shocking this teaching would be for Jesus’ audience. For Americans, the weight of this statement is almost impossible to relate to. At this time, the Jewish people were conquered & living under oppressive Roman rule, which was incredibly brutal & destructive. Romans are who would come to mind when they heard the word “enemy.” 

How does this impact how you understand this teaching by Jesus? Does it change the weight of it for you? 

Next, walk through the passage piece-by-piece. 

How do you believe one can “love their enemy”? 

How might this make us “children of God” like Jesus says?

Next, reflect on the “evidence” Jesus cites for God’s love for the enemy in verse 45. The rising of the sun (another day of life) & rain for crops were both understood as symbols of God’s blessing for a person in Jesus’ time. 

How does God’s choice to bless the righteous & the unrighteous alike change how we understand His love? Why does Jesus point to this as a sign of how we (as children of God) are called to love? 

How does this change how you define love? What does it look like to love by seeking the blessing of those we would consider enemies? 

Next, consider Jesus’ questions. He cites two actions that he holds up as the opposite of how God loves/blesses:

  1. Loving only those that love you; and
  2. Greeting only those like you.

How do these two examples highlight a form of love that Jesus sees as the opposite of how God loves? 

How well do you do at loving/blessing those in opposition to you & who are radically different than you (ethnically, religiously, politically, socially, etc.)? 

Close with Jesus’ final challenge: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek word translated as “perfect” is teleios – which means maturing to completion

What does it mean to “mature” in your ability to love completely or perfectly like God does? 

From your conversation, where do you need to seek maturation & growth in your love of others? Where do you need to change how you understand love to be someone who can “love their enemies” like God does?

What is one thing you can do to change your heart posture towards an “enemy” this week? 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand love. How might your definition of love change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of love? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this advent understanding of love might change how you understand love & seek to build it in your world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas

Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 24: Join us for Christmas Eve! We will have gatherings at 3:00 & 5:00PM to celebrate the arrival of Jesus!

* Please see mye3.org for details.

12.15.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.15.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 3: “Joy”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What comes to mind when you think of laughing really hard? Who is there? What was the situation? 

The Dig

Begin by defining the word joy as you understand it. What does it mean to be joyful? What does it mean to lack joy in a situation? 

Next, read James 1:2-4. 

Notice that in James understands joy as something that can be found & even grown in the midst of trials & sufferings. This means that, for James, joy is an internal state of being that isn’t tied to our circumstances.

How do you react to the idea that joy is something that isn’t tied to having positive circumstances or getting what you want in a situation? Does your definition of joy allow for that to be true? 

In light of this, take time to re-define the word joy. What would you adjust in your definition? How would you alter how you understand joy? 

Next, reflect on the sermon from this week. In the Gospel of Luke, it is poor shepherds that come to find Jesus after his birth & who are told that they are experiencing a great joy

What does it say about Jesus (who he is, what he came to do, etc.) that he arrives to people in their situation first? 

How might this be a joyful moment for the shepherds? 

Reflect on the fact that the shepherds’ circumstances don’t change after this encounter with Jesus. They arrive as shepherds & leave as shepherds. And yet, they are still said to have found joy in the encountering of Jesus. 

How is God’s arrival in Jesus something that brings joy to these people (poor, low social status, etc.)? 

Close by, once again, reflecting on how you define & understand joy in your life. 

What gives you joy? What takes away your joy? What does this show you about how you understand joy? How does this advent understanding of joy impact how you think about both things? 

Where do you need to grow in your capacity to be joyful? What would it look like to take a step forward in this area?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand joy. How might your definition of joy change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of joy? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this advent understanding of joy might change how you understand joy & seek to find it in your world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Christ Plays in 10,000 Ways by Eugene Peterson

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 22: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Love in the story of Christ’s arrival!
* Please see mye3.org for details.

12.08.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.08.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 2: “Peace”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is something that brings you peace when you are feeling anxious or worried? What is something that takes away your feeling of peace?

 

The Dig

Begin by defining the word peace as you understand it. What does peace mean? What doesn’t it mean? 

Read Matthew 2:1-12.

As discussed in the sermon this week, this story is full of the unexpected when it comes to who would be present at Jesus’ birth. The Magi are the definition of being outsiders when it comes to the Jewish world. 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were an outsider in something (church, school, social group, etc.)? How did that impact you? 

Why do you think Matthew puts the Magi here as the first people to recognize Jesus as King & worship him in his Gospel? What might this teach us about who God is?

Why do you think the outsiders see who Jesus is before the insiders in this story (Israel’s King, the Teachers of the Law)? In other words, what is it about being an outsider that might lead them to seek out & find Jesus first & vice versa for being an insider? 

Many of the Old Testament prophecies predicted that God’s Messiah would, in some way, bring the Nations (the pagan, non-Jewish peoples of the world) into God’s Kingdom. 

How does this impact how you understand what is going on in this story? 

What does this say about who Jesus is & what he came to do

Finally, close by taking time to reflect on what these two things have to do with the peace that Jesus brings. 

How does including the outsiders create peace in the Christian life? How does drawing in those we’d least expect impact how we live a life of peace?

Who in your life would you consider an outsider (i.e., who or what kind of people would you least expect to be at the arrival of Jesus)? Why wouldn’t you expect them to be there? 

How does this story change how God sees these people & how you should see them? 

What might it look like to welcome them into what God is doing in your life?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand peace. How might your definition of peace change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of peace? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this story about peace might change how you understand peace & seek to make it in the world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Toughest People to Love by Chuck DeGroat

The Conflict Resolution Toolbox by Gary Furlong

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 15: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Joy in the story of Christ’s coming!
* Please see mye3.org for details.

12.01.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.01.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 1: “Hope”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Share a story about a time when you were given an unexpected gift. What was it? Who gave it to you? Why was it so unexpected? 

 

The Dig

First, take time to define two words: hope & expectations. 

How do you define each of these? Are there any similarities between them? What are the differences between something you hope for & something you expect

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

Reflect on the characters of Mary & Joseph in Jesus’ birth story. 

What do you think were some of the expectations they had for their lives? What were some of their hopes? 

In this time, Mary getting pregnant in this way (out of wedlock) would have been incredibly looked down upon. 

How do you think Mary was impacted by this moment? How do you think it impacted her expectations? 

More so, at this point in the story, Israel had been conquered by Rome for some time. Their expectations for God’s King (Messiah) were that he would arrive as a warrior king to defeat Rome. However, Jesus arrives in a poor, seemingly insignificant, & socially outcast family (child out of wedlock). 

How do you think Jesus’ arrival in this way would have impacted Israel’s expectations for God’s King? 

What does Jesus’ arrival in this way do to Israel’s expectations that He would be a warrior king

What does Jesus’ arrival in this way do to Israel’s expectations that He would build God’s Kingdom by power & might

What does it say about God that He chooses to enter our world through a family like this one? Why do you think He chooses to arrive through this family & situation? 

Finally, reflect on how God’s arrival in this way could be understood in light of hope

How does God’s arrival through a family like this & in this way  give us hope, especially as it breaks our expectations? 

Ultimately, this story reminds us that there is always hope when it comes to God – especially in the areas that seem the most poor, fragile, weak, or hopeless. Those are exactly where this God chooses to show up in the most profound way

Where in your life do you need to hope that God can show up & work? Where are you expectations getting in the way of you having that hope? 

What might it look like to shift from expectations to hope in that area of your life in this Advent season?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand hope. Reflect on something in your life where you have come to feel hopeless (feeling like it will never change) & you have come to believe that God is absent (relationship, family, job, finances, etc.). 

Journal about how this story about hope might change the story you are telling yourself about that situation. What might it look like to find God showing up in this area where you wouldn’t expect Him? How would it change it? 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright

Matthew for Everyone by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 8: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Peace in the story of Christ’s coming!
* Please see mye3.org for details.

11.24.2019

GOING DEEPER

11.24.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 11: “The God Who Dwells Pt. 2”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is your favorite part about going home (to where you were raised)? What do you feel when you go home?

 

The Dig

Read Genesis 2:8-17

Read Revelation 21:1-4

Read Revelation 22:1-5

This is the beginning & end of the biblical story. In many ways, the entire biblical story revolves around the loss of Eden & our return to Eden

What imagery stands out to you the most from these passages? Is there any aspect of the beginning or end of the biblical story that hits home the most? 

How does this imagery at the beginning & end of the biblical story impact how you read it or understand it the rest of it? 

Next, take time reflecting on the fact that the ultimate purposes of God in the Bible is to dwell in Creation & amongst human beings once again

What does this teach us about who God is? 

How does this impact how you think about God – His character, purposes, goals, & desires? 

Throughout the biblical story, we find a progression of God dwelling more & more within creation. For example…

  • He appears to Moses through a burning bush (one tiny spot);
  • Then He appears in front of the Israelites in the desert;
  • Then He dwells in the Tabernacle / Temple, but with a veil separating His presence from the Israelites
  • Then Jesus claims to be the living Tabernacle – God’s presence in human form amongst us;
  • And, finally, Paul tells us that we, as Jesus’ disciples & through the indwelling of God’s Spirit, have become God’s dwelling space & tabernacle on earth.

How do you respond to this progression? What does it teach us about God & what God is doing? 

What does it mean for us to be the space where God dwells on earth as a pocket of Eden / Temple space? 

How does this change how you view your physical body & how you treat it?

How does this change how you see how you live in the world – your work, actions, character, etc? 

How does this impact how you think about your relationships with others? 

Is there a space in your life where you feel you are not living up to this Eden / Temple calling in the world?

What does it look like to grow in our capacity for being the place where God dwells?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

This week, take time & space to sit with the end of our series. Reflect on the topics we’ve covered: God being with us in suffering; God giving us His personal name; God calling us to do His work; God liberating us; God leading us; God providing for us; God covenanting with us; God forgiving us; God dwelling with us.

Reflect on which of these topics you need to dive into the most in this coming Advent season & which you think you could grow in understanding over the next few weeks. Take time this week to journal your thoughts.

Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

 

Additional Resources*

Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright

The New Testament and the People of God by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 1: Join us for the first week of our Advent series Advent: When Good News is Actually Good.
* Please see mye3.org for details.

11.17.2019

GOING DEEPER

11.17.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 10: “The God Who Dwells”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is your home setup like? What are the most important things in it? What interesting things can people learn about you from what’s in your home? 

 

The Dig

Read Exodus 25:1-9.

Begin by discussing the idea that the Tabernacle, the place where God dwelled directly, was set up at the center of the Israelite camp. 

First, what are some of the physical artifacts/places that you center or shape your life / schedule around? If you are stumped, consider:

  • Home / Office / Work / Church
  • Specific Restaurants / Places
  • Outdoors
  • Specific Rooms or Objects – TV, exercise equipment, room of your house, arts & music, etc. 

Why do these places play such an important role in your life? 

What does that importance say about who you are & what you consider important when it comes to how you live your life? 

With that in mind, reflect on what it would have meant to reorganize all of the Israelite community around God’s dwelling space in the center. 

How would this have impacted the Israelites as a people? 

What lessons would this physical setup teach them about who they are & why they exist as a people? 

Lastly, reflect on what was in the Tabernacle:

  • The Altar – place of sacrifices for reconciling broken relationships & remembering/celebrating past stories.
  • The Lavar – basin for ritually washing & purifying the priests before entering into God’s Presence.
  • The Bread of Presence – a symbol of God’s Presence & Israel being offered totally to God as His People.
  • The Lampstand – a symbol of God being light in the world, where ever He resides. 
  • The Altar of Incense – a symbol of Israel’s prayers & worship being received by God as pleasing aromas.
  • The Ark of the Covenant – containing the covenant (relationship between God & Israel), manna (symbol of God’s provision in the wilderness ), & Aaron’s staff (symbol of Israel’s liberation from Egypt). 

Each is in the Tabernacle because it teaches us about who God is & what God wants to see done in the world. 

Which stands out to you the most? Why? 

Which seems the oddest to you? Why? 

Close by reflecting on one final question before next week. What might it mean that God’s final action of the Exodus is to dwell with His People? Why do you think God waits until the end to do this? (We will be exploring this more deeply next week). 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

This week, take time & space to sit with our God who dwells amongst us. Take 5 minutes each morning to meditate & just sit with God’s Presence. 

  • Get quiet & close your eyes
  • Acknowledge God’s Presence in the space with you
  • Breathe slowly – in through your nose, out through your mouth
  • Each time you breathe out – say a word that reminds you of God (a name for God, characteristic, etc.) 
  • Try to spend 5 minutes returning to His Presence each time your mind wanders. 

Take time this week to journal about anything that comes up.

Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Simply Jesus by NT Wright

Surprised by Hope by NT Wright

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, November 24: Join us for the last week of our series GOD PT. 1, where we will be looking at the second half of “The God Who Dwells.”
* Please see mye3.org for details.

11.10.2019

GOING DEEPER

11.10.2019 | GOD, PART 1 | Wk 9: “The God Who Relents”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

Share about a time when you got really mad over something that, later on, you realized wasn’t that important to you (try to think of a funny example!). 

 

The Dig

Read Exodus 32:1-6.

Reflect on some of the key elements of Israel’s request in this story. 

First, reflect on why they want Aaron to make them an idol. 

Why do you think the Israelites decide that they need to ask Aaron to make them these idols or new gods after all that God has done for them in the Exodus Story so far? 

How do you respond to the idea that they turn to this after just 40 days of being away from Moses? 

Do you find it hard to follow God when you can’t see Him physically or directly in a situation? 

How do you respond when you feel like God has been absent for too long? What do you turn to for comfort? 

Second, reflect on the fact that the Israelites take God’s own statement (“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt…”) & apply it to this concrete, physical representation of a god in front of them

Why do you think they try to transfer this statement about God to this new idol? 

What does this say about how the Israelites view what God is doing for them now & what He has done for them in the past? 

Share about a time when God helped you & then, over time, you began to apply credit for what happened to something or someone else (or yourself). Why do you think it is so easy to do that? 

Read Exodus 33:12-17.

How do you respond to the idea that God relents or turns away from judgment when it comes to dealing with people? Does this match the image of God you’ve held in your life? 

How about the fact that God actually goes further & promises to be present with His People despite of what they’ve done? 

What does it mean to you that God chooses to be defined by grace, forgiveness, & mercy

How do you think that should impact us, as Christians, when it comes to how we handle wrongs & hurts? 

Where in your life right now do you need to lean into mercy over judgment? 

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time this week to reflect on where you need to practice relenting (i.e. forgiveness, grace, & mercy). 

Slow down & reflect on anyone that you feel heightened negative emotions towards – someone that just makes you feel anger or resentment quickly. Write down what situation made you feel this way recently & reflect on why

Finally, reflect on what it might mean to release that resentment & forgive. What might it do for your emotional, spiritual, & mental health? How might it help you & that other person? 

Share your findings with your group next week. 

 

Additional Resources*

The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard Hays

The Toughest People to Love by Chuck DeGroat

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, November 10: Join us for the next week of our series GOD PT. 1, where we will be looking at “The God Who Relents.”
* Please see mye3.org for details.