Guest Preacher: Rev. Dr. Seth Pickens
The Rev. Dr. Seth Pickens is an educator committed to facilitating Christ’s Kingdom on earth. This mandate has led him to diverse career stints including, school teacher, sales executive, and Peace Corps Volunteer. Ordained in the American Baptist Church, he served for 11 years as a Senior Pastor in South L.A. Currently, Dr. Pickens is the Director of the Realization Project, an initiative to prevent homelessness through sustaining employment.
A preacher, trainer, and facilitator par excellence, Seth holds a B.A. from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (New York, NY) and a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California. Seth and his wife of 15 years, Isis, are the proud parents of a son and a daughter, both currently in middle school. Also, he is hilarious.
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!
We gather here today to grow, learn and change as a group. As we begin our Bible study, we ask that you help all of us to gain a better understanding of your truth. We lay down our hearts, minds and lives before you. We ask that you move among us and help us to feel safe with one another: to think, ask for help and to question. Helps us to share our life with you and grow in our knowledge of your Word. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
Scripture: Amos 7:7-8 (Common English Bible)
7 This is what the Lord showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall, with a plumb line in his hand. 8 The Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?”
“A plumb line,” I said.
Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line
in the middle of my people Israel.
I will never again forgive them.
The phrase “as above, so below” has many meanings. Among them, “As above”, refers to the spiritual realm and “So below”, refers to the physical world, with the goal that life on earth should resemble the beauty of life eternal.
God gives Amos a vision and it is not pretty! God is not happy with Israel because they have have take advantage of the weak and poor (Amos 5:11). What do when we have not lived “below” as God above has called us to? Is there hope for us?
- What is a word, phrase or image that comes to mind when you read or hear the text?
- What has made God so angry in this scripture? (Read Amos 5:10-15.) How do we come up short from God’s expectations today? What does God call us to do to get back on track?
- What does this scripture teach you about expectations?
- 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?
We give you thanks, Oh God, that your love is more than we could attempt to comprehend. We trust that you are a God of wisdom, truth, and love that has been displayed in the person of Christ and that enlivens us today. Fill us with the fire of your Holy Spirit. Stir up the gift within us. That we may grow in faith in you. Amen.