Grace UMC prepares for Sunday worship by reading the scripture for the coming Sunday’s sermon. Below, you fill find questions that can be used for Bible Study, small groups or personal devotion. Let the scripture speak in to your life! Expect great things!
Opening Prayer (Wesley Covenant Prayer)
O God, Searcher of all our hearts,
you have formed us as a people and claimed us for your own.
As we come to acknowledge your sovereignty and grace,
and to enter anew into covenant with you,
reveal any reluctance or falsehood within us.
Let your Spirit impress your truth on our inmost being,
and receive us in mercy, for the sake of our Mediator, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Scripture: Genesis 21:14-20 (New International Version)
14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she[a] began to sob.
17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer.
For Men’s Day, we welcome guest speaker, Romal Tune, author of the new book I Wish My Dad. I Wish My Dad helps fathers, and their sons, talk about difficult dynamics and begin emotional healing. The lessons in these pages will free men to have—and become—the kind of dads they wish for.
In this scripture, Ishmael grows up without the love of his father, Abraham. God hears Ishmael’s cry for help and was with him through his formative years to adulthood. Just as Ishmael needed healing, men today strive for emotional and spiritual healing, too. May God lead us as we let the healing begin.
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- In this scripture, Hagar does her best to provide for her son, Ishmael, as Abraham is not present in Ishmael’s life. God promises Hagar that her son will be great and God provides for them. Who do you identify with most in this passage? Why? How has God made provision for you in your life?
- What does this scripture teach about healing?
- What does God invite you to do, change or be through this passage?
Discipleship Huddle Questions:
- How is it with your soul?
- How does your soul prosper?
God who surprises us, help us to be surprised by an encounter with you. Keep us attentive to your presence as we go about our week.