Although we are back on-campus for worship, you, your family and friends may connect to our worship service on Zoom by clicking HERE or you can join us on YouTube at youtube.com/graceumcla!
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!
Kind and gracious Lord, you are the creator of all things, the author of life, and our loving God. We thank you for your faithful presence in our lives, and we thank you for the Word of God.
As we prepare to study your Word together, we ask you to open our minds. Help us clear away the clutter and quiet any outside voices so we can hear only what you long to speak to us.
Scripture: Isaiah 35:1-10 (Common English Bible)
The desert and the dry land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.
2 They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing.
They will receive the glory of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the Lord’s glory, the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands, and support the unsteady knees.
4 Say to those who are panicking, “Be strong! Don’t fear!
Here’s your God, coming with vengeance;
with divine retribution, God will come to save you.”
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be cleared.
6 Then the lame will leap like the deer, and the tongue of the speechless will sing.
Waters will spring up in the desert, and streams in the wilderness.
7 The burning sand will become a pool, and the thirsty ground, fountains of water.
The jackals’ habitat, a pasture;[a] grass will become reeds and rushes.
8 A highway will be there. It will be called The Holy Way.
The unclean won’t travel on it, but it will be for those walking on that way.[b]
Even fools won’t get lost on it;
9 no lion will be there, and no predator will go up on it.
None of these will be there; only the redeemed will walk on it.
10 The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and groaning will flee away.
For the Season of Advent, we join in a a sermon series “Walk In the Light” that focuses on the path to celebration of Christ’s birth on Christmas.
In this scripture, John the Baptist appears in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. .
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- In this scripture, Isaiah gives a beautiful image of a promise to Israel of God’s hope, healing and salvation. In verse 8, Isaiah says “The unclean won’t travel on it, but it will be for those walking on that way. Even fools won’t get lost on it.” What does it take to “walk the holy way?” What does Isaiah mean by saying the “fools” won’t get lost? Is walking the way more about our convictions or our character? Or both?
- What does this scripture teach about appearances?
- 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 lifts up the humble, give us guidance to see how we might be part of your mission of the redemption of the world. Give us the hands of compassion to extend your love and grace. Amen.