Connect Group Study Notes: 20 March 2022
Theme: Yes But How?
Readings: Psalm 63:1-8 and Luke 13:1-9
Fellowship (10 min)
Begin with general conversation and sharing about how the past week has gone. Try not to go over time.
Worship and Prayer (15 min)
Click on the link below on your smartphone, Smart TV, or computer, to select songs to sing; and then spend a few minutes in song and prayer.
And if you need to check on the Message for the week again, then click on:
This time of worship and prayer will encourage you to move your thoughts from daily worries and pressures to our time of Bible study and prayer.
The scripture we read from the Gospel of Luke is made up of two short stories and one parable. Jesus asks everyone to repent and talks about bearing fruit. While you read the scripture, listen for how Jesus describes three different stories that encourage us to live our lives with purpose and urgency.
Read: Luke 13:1-9
Discussion Questions (Approx. 30 min)
• At least part of what’s going on in the question of verse 2 is an age-old question “Did they die because of their own fault?” It might be a question we too have faced at some time. What tragedy or difficult circumstances have you struggled to understand and make sense of in your life, and in the life of your community?
• What does the word “repent” mean? Are there times that you have felt the need to repent?
• Verses 1-5 seem to be saying that sinners may be equal before God. Does this challenge what you know about sin? Have you ever thought about yourself being better than someone else? Perhaps “less of a sinner”? How does that affect our ability to be in connection with our communities and demonstrate the love of God to others?
• Why do you think Jesus repeats verse 3 in verse 5? How might repentance lead to a life of abundance?
• The parable of the fig tree is the second part of today’s scripture reading. How would you sum up the parable?
• How might people be like the fig tree? What kind of fruit are we supposed to be producing as trees in God’s vineyard?
• Who do you think the caretaker in the vineyard is? What kind of care helps people produce the kind of fruit that is meaningful to God?
• Read Isaiah 5:1-7. There are numerous times in the Old Testament, as in this Isaiah passage, where the people of Israel are compared to a vineyard. How is there both a threat and a promise in this parable?
• How does the parable relate to the previous story?
Faith Building – to think about this week:
• What might it look like to be a “fruitful” Christian where you live?
Prayer (10 min). Share prayer requests and then pray together.
Sending Prayer (2 min). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of judgment and grace, we trust that your judgment is pure and righteous. Because of it, we can long for a day when “righteousness will be at home.” We can also trust that your judgment and purification lead to a fruitfulness that glorifies you. Help us to welcome your purification through our repentance, that we might better live lives of fruitfulness to your glory. Amen.
Have a great week.
With thanks and acknowledgment to: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/…. -small-groups