23/04/2017: Sacred spaces in a secular world

Sacred Spaces in a Secular World

Bible Reading

Psalm 139: 1-12 NIVDavid.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Read:  Psalm 139: 1 – 12

  1. How does David feel about God’s total knowledge of him V1-6? How does this Psalm make you feel about yourself and your value to God?
  2. Why does David think about escaping God v7-12? What directions are mentioned? If God is so omnipresent, why do so many people not believe in God? Have you experienced the “manifest presence of God?” Discuss
  3. What does v11-12 say about God’s ability to transform the most hopeless situations?

Bible Reading

 John 20:19-29 NIV

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Read:  John 20:  19 – 29

  1. Why do you think Thomas wasn’t with the rest of the disciples when Jesus when Jesus appeared to them?
  2. “Unless I see the nail marks in His hands…I will not believe it” What was Thomas actually saying? What do you think was Jesus’ tone with Thomas? What doubts or questions about God are you struggling with? What have you felt helpful in dealing with doubts?
  3. Discuss the title “Sacred Spaces in a Secular World” : Read Romans 12:2 and Luke 24: 32:

What Now?

  1. What is one practical thing you need to take out of this discussion as an individual?
  2. What does our group need to do with what we’ve discussed and discovered today?