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02/04/2017: FELLOWSHIP GROUP NOTES | GO…bring LIFE!

BIBLE READING

Psalm 130

After reading Psalm 130 consider the following:

    • What are the “depths” of (vs.1)?

This is not a Psalm of abandonment by God, but of forgiveness (vs. 4). The Psalmist trusts God and shows this trust in a particular way (vs.5,6).

    • Are you able to “wait” for God? How?
    • Have you learnt to “trust” God? How?

BIBLE READING

Ezekiel 37: 1 – 14

The Valley of Dry Bones

1The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all round them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, ‘Mortal, can these bones live?’ I answered, ‘O Lord God, you know.’ 4Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.’

7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.’10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

11Then he said to me, ‘Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.’

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995

DISCUSS

  • What do you think is significant about the valley of dry bones (vs. 1)? What does the valley represent?
  • How many times is the word “breath” (or wind) used in the reading? What does “breath” represent?
  • What brings “life” to the bones (vs. 9, 10)?
  • Is your life a fertile valley, or a valley of bones? How would you describe your life – are you a skeleton? A healthy body? Are you “alive” or feel as if you are merely “existing”? Are you hopeless or hopeful…?

BIBLE READING

John 11: 33 – 45 (or 1 – 45)

Jesus Weeps

33When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ 35Jesus began to weep.36So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ 37But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’

Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ 40Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

The Plot to Kill Jesus

45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995

DISCUSS

  • What does it mean to say “[Jesus] was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved” (vs. 33) and (vs. 38)? What does this tell us about Jesus?
  • How do think you might have reacted if you had been there on that day?
  • Do you believe there is life after death?

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Focus on breathing deeply, and prayerfully this week. Breath God in; breath worry, concerns, fears and confusion…out! Breathe!

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